New Hampshire Plaintiffs Submit Response In Wire Act Case
March 2, 2020
New Hampshire is not going down without a fight when it comes to legalizing online poker. It appears that the state is ready to fight for the rights of those who live their to enjoy the games that they want to play via the Internet. The state also has an interest in the process because they run a variety of online lottery games that they want to keep protected from government intervention and overreach. Fortunately, they have been able to do so up to this point.
The plaintiff in a case involving the long disputed Wire Act is the state lottery system which seeks to allow legalized poker from becoming available in the state and to cement its protection of the online lottery games that it offers. The state lottery has a virtual monopoly on gambling activity within the state at this time, and they don't want to let go of their hold on that monopoly without a fight.
The Obama Administration had determined in 2011 that the 1961 Wire Act related online to sports wagering and horse racing conducted via phone lines or the Internet. They determined that it was not related to online poker playing. However, the Trump Administration took a different take on it, and the new Administration determined that it would also apply to online poker. That was simply not acceptable.
The Department of Justice is the defendant in this particular case, and they are seeking to uphold the ruling that the Trump Administration came to in regards to online gambling. They do not want to let this go. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of people in limbo in regards to where they stand in terms of legalized wagering on online poker in their state.
There are plenty of arguments against the position that the Administration has taken. The fact that people are going to gamble on the Internet regardless of the legality of it is just one of those arguments. It seem reasonable that the state would have a vested interest in at least capturing some of the tax revenues that they could potentially generate from legal gambling within their borders.
There is no question that states are still going to fight for the right to capture their tax dollars within the state. The battle is just now beginning, and there could be a long road ahead for anyone who thinks that any state is just going to go away.