Dec 24 2011
written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off
Just before the Christmas Holiday poker advocates (and advocacy groups) got a bit of an early Christmas present when the Department of Justice made a ruling on precisely what the 1961 Wire Act covers. In the legal opinion submitted by the DOJ they ruled that the “interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a ‘sporting event of contest’ fall outside the reach of the Wire Act.”
While this doesn’t change much as far as the legal landscape for poker, or in terms of the skill vs. luck aspects of the game, it does give poker players a small glimmer of hope that poker could eventually land outside of other online gaming. However, the ruling does fly in the face of the DOJ’s previous opinions that the Wire Act covered all forms of gambling on the Internet.
The clarification of the Wire Act was applauded by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), which released a statement after the ruling where PPA Executive Director John Pappas stated:
“This is a much needed clarification of an antiquated and often confusing law. For years, legal scholars and even the courts have debated whether the Wire Act applies to non-sporting activity. Today’s announcement validates the fact that Internet poker does not violate this law,”
The clarification may also lead the DOJ to clarify an even more convoluted piece of legislation, the UIGEA –but don’t hold your breath on this one!