Wire Act
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POKER

USDOJ Ceases Pursuit of Wire Act Enforcement Against Legal Online Gambling Services

United States online poker players hoping for more “shared liquidity” games between formally legalized jurisdictions received great news Tuesday, as word quickly spread that the U.S. Department of Justice has ceased its pursuit of Wire Act enforcement against state-licensed online gambling services.

The long-awaited announcement removes an important barrier for states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia to potentially join the existing MSIGA U.S. online poker compact between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware that enables the World Series of Poker to combine player pools in those three states.

The federal government’s decision to wave its option to seek further Wire Act enforcement against legal online gambling sites in America comes roughly two and a half years after the late global casino magnate and former Las Vegas Sands proprietor Sheldon Adelson reportedly influenced the Department of Justice to revive its anti-legal online gambling stance… and nearly a decade after corporate-minded legislative scribes reportedly pulled a hit & run {1:02:13-1:03:44} within the USDOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to allow multi-state lotteries (and eventually online poker operations) between compacted states.

Legal U.S. Online Gambling Industry Still At Virtual Spear Point?

Although the news could mark a meaningful move in the direction of more shared liquidity for compacted jurisdictions that offer legal online poker, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Managing Director of Sports and Emerging Verticals Chris Krafcik suggested Tuesday that the industry is not completely out of the woods in terms of legal risk.

A change in law may be necessary to ensure legal, statewide online gambling services are allowed to operate without government “shenanigans” in the future, opines Krafcik.

Additional “Compacting” Could Triple Legal U.S. Online Poker Player Pool

The current combined population of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware is roughly 12.8 million.

The current combined population of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia is approximately 24.6 million.

A compacted legal U.S. online poker market which combines the player pools of all six states would nearly triple the potential player pool for multiple licensed operators including WSOP.com, partypoker, and PokerStars (which remains explicitly blocked from statewide market access in Nevada only).

More shared liquidity opportunities could also spark a keener interest among online poker sites that are currently licensed in jurisdictions outside the United States, such as GGPoker, Unibet, and Run It Once Poker.

Read More Legal Online Gambling Coverage from BestBetUSA

7 Things You Should Know: U.S. iGaming Geolocation Technology FAQs (Sep 7, 2020)
GeoComply Testimony: iGaming Location Technology (Feb 6, 2020)
Are VPN Bans on Legal Online Gambling Sites “Overreaching?” (Mar 15, 2019)
Poker Lobbyist Sounds Alarm for Legal U.S. Online Poker Industry (Mar 5, 2019)

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