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Old 01-16-2019, 01:36 PM   #51
dhubermex
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Pennsylvania may or may not delay its upcoming regulated iGaming launch, according to a PGCB spokesperson via Brian Pempus of PennBets.

https://www.pennbets.com/pennsylvani...casino-launch/

The spokesperson points out how Pennsylvania will be a sole-state iGaming market, as it does not currently form part of the MSIGA compact between NJ/NV/DE.

The article also suggests that Michigan may move forward on passing iGaming legislation again in 2019 (it passed the state legislature in late 2018, but was vetoed at the last minute by former Gov. Rick Snyder).

---

Here's a writeup by Jeff Ifrah, who is a member of the US-facing regulated iGaming/sports betting/online poker lobbyist group iDEA. The article analyses the January 14th, 2019 DOJ-Office of Legal Counsel reversal and its impact on licensed, statewide iGaming services.

https://www.ifrahlaw.com/ifrah-on-ig...online-gaming/

---

Eric Ramsey of OPR states that payment processing for legal, licensed online gambling sites is "in jeopardy" as a consequence of Monday's decision.

https://www.onlinepokerreport.com/34...ling-payments/

"To make a long story short, yes. The payment industry is spooked, and transactions related to legal online gambling are very much in jeopardy in light of the OLC reversal."

Here's further Twitter analysis from Chris Grove on this topic.

https://twitter.com/OPReport/status/1085590767995764736
_____
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:01 PM   #52
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
Both have been used in popular culture.

"pusillanimous" came from Spiro Agnew, when he was Vice President, describing objectors to Nixon's Vietnam policies

http://gtotd.blogspot.com/2008/04/pu...syfooters.html

"Pugilist" was used in Young Guns.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehMJf-iCr-M

I'm old and remember a lot of crap without Google.
It frightens me to my core that I am playing a mind game strategy vs people like you lol
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:53 PM   #53
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

January 15th memo from U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

https://www.justice.gov/file/1124286/download

"The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has published an opinion finding that all but one of the prohibitions of the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084, apply to non-sports gambling. OLC reconsidered a 2011 opinion that reached a different conclusion.

Department of Justice attorneys should adhere to OLC's interpretation, which represents the Department's position on the meaning of the Wire Act. See 28 C.F.R. § 0.25.

As an exercise of discretion, Department of Justice attorneys should refrain from applying Section 1084(a) in criminal or civil actions to persons who engaged in conduct violating the Wire Act in reliance on the 2011 OLC opinion prior to the date of this memorandum, and for 90 days thereafter. A 90-day window will give businesses that relied on the 2011 OLC opinion time to bring their operations into compliance with federal law. This is an internal exercise of prosecutorial discretion; it is not a safe harbor for violations of the Wire Act.

I am designating the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Gang Section (OCGS) to review and approve proposed Wire Act charges. The Justice Manual will include a new review and approval process for prosecutions pursuant to the Wire Act. Any Department attorney who has questions regarding implementation of the Wire Act should contact OCGS Deputy Chief Douglas Crow for further guidance."
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #54
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Organized Crime and Gang Section. Thats good. I hear they already got all those guys. Time to go after people offering legal state gambling, the real monsters.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:24 PM   #55
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

If (and when) a new administration comes in, that President can reverse this latest "interpretation" of wire act, no? Because of the payment processing-banking dilemma overarching all this, seems like now there are only 2 ways out for a viable real, liquid online poker market:

1. A new administration with a cooperative Congress legalizes online gambling federally (least likely option) OR

2. A new administration regardless of Congress but with a new DOJ along with lets just say a retired Sheldon "reinterprets" Wire Act once again allowing for narrow scope with interstate commerce in all things ex-sports betting.

Where am I mistaken? Are there more or fewer outs whenever in the future to get through this impasse if at all?
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:53 PM   #56
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

tweet from @repdougcollins

"The DOJ reversed its 2011 #WireAct opinion, and I’ll be seeking clarification to ensure the change doesn’t hurt the @GeorgiaLottery and the children who depend on the education it provides."
___
give him a like or comment on that tweet. Or any other congressperson who comments on the issue. Also might contact your representatives and voice any concerns over the reversal.

Last edited by Well Read Ted; 01-16-2019 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:56 PM   #57
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Theres at least a decent chance that it goes to the courts and they rule in line withe 2011 opinion. The DOJ doesnt ultimately decide what the law covers, the courts will. The DOJ opinion just tells us what they think, and how they might prosecute.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:04 PM   #58
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Theres at least a decent chance that it goes to the courts and they rule in line withe 2011 opinion. The DOJ doesnt ultimately decide what the law covers, the courts will. The DOJ opinion just tells us what they think, and how they might prosecute.
As in poker itself, for now the courts imo are not an out - I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly/pessimistically) the courts will simply go along with this latest interpretation. This is just how I see it imo. Again, I am no lawyer.

Consequently, it IS still the DOJ interpretation that indirectly controls the actions of the payment processors and the banks in this arena (like with pot). And with that domino not in play, the rest as far as liquidity for a real online poker market in US is now next to nil. That is what is most important. So while PA may roll out its online gambling, it will be purely intrastate and so will other states like NV, NJ, and DE. Unless and until one of the two outs I mention above occur, I don't see how online poker for US OVERALL will ever now gain any real traction.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:14 PM   #59
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by HurtLocker View Post
As in poker itself, for now the courts imo are not an out - I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly/pessimistically) the courts will simply go along with this latest interpretation. This is just how I see it imo. Again, I am no lawyer.
In this case, going to court is inevitible. The OLC opinion is binding on the DoJ, it is the position the US Attorneys must take, and so we will see, likely in a few months, what operators they feel are in violation of the Wire Act

It is the role of the courts to interpret the law, and this case is no different. While it may be the position of DoJ that all online gambling is illegal, they will need to bring a case before a judge, win that case, and have it survive appeal.

And everyone chiming in is merely making guesses on what the possible outcome will be, myself included. Only time will tell
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:28 PM   #60
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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In this case, going to court is inevitible. The OLC opinion is binding on the DoJ, it is the position the US Attorneys must take, and so we will see, likely in a few months, what operators they feel are in violation of the Wire Act
Is going to court inevitable? From what I read, after the OLC opinion, Rosenstein came out and said that all operators etc. who fall under the Wire Act have a 90 day grace period to comply with this interpretation. After that, only then will DOJ enforce this latest interpretation (if they even choose to do so). Whether operators comply or not etc. and whether or not that leads to any legal battles in a court is unknown at this time. Maybe I am misunderstanding something here.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:55 PM   #61
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

here's how I read Rosenstein's memo ...

Quote:
Department of Justice attorneys should refrain from applying Section 1084(a) in criminal or civil actions to persons who engaged in conduct violating the Wire Act in reliance on the 2011 OLC opinion prior to the date of this memorandum, and for 90 days thereafter.
What I get from that is that no charges will be brought against those operating now, since the 2011 opinion, and for the next 90 days.

In other words, its not 'against the law' until around April 15th

But, after that ...

Quote:
to review and approve proposed Wire Act charges.
proposed charges sounds to me like they are prepared to seek indictments against someone
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:29 AM   #62
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by curtinsea View Post
here's how I read Rosenstein's memo ...



What I get from that is that no charges will be brought against those operating now, since the 2011 opinion, and for the next 90 days.

In other words, its not 'against the law' until around April 15th...
What is it with these people and April 15. It's as if they're trying to say--

"Just like Black Friday, the Big Man is coming to get you on tax day"
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:42 AM   #63
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act!?!?

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Sheldon Adelson with all his connections and money is singlehandedly ruining online poker and has been for years. And yet massive amounts of poker players show up to his casino to play tournaments. It makes me sick. If there is ever a reason for all poker players to stand together and boycott a particular casino it should be that nobody show up to participate in any tournament in the Venetian.
Good idea, and it was a good idea 8 years ago when there was a thread basically proposing the same thing:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/5...culinary+union
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:16 AM   #64
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by Sideline View Post
Theres at least a decent chance that it goes to the courts and they rule in line withe 2011 opinion. The DOJ doesnt ultimately decide what the law covers, the courts will. The DOJ opinion just tells us what they think, and how they might prosecute.
A decent chance, this coverage issue has been to Court before:

In re Mastercard Int'l Inc Internet Gambling Litigation

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1342249.html

The outcome was favorable in that 5th Circuit Court of Appeals case, although DOJ was not a participant.

Last edited by Gzesh; 01-17-2019 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:24 AM   #65
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by HurtLocker View Post
As in poker itself, for now the courts imo are not an out - I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly/pessimistically) the courts will simply go along with this latest interpretation. This is just how I see it imo. Again, I am no lawyer.

Consequently, it IS still the DOJ interpretation that indirectly controls the actions of the payment processors and the banks in this arena (like with pot). And with that domino not in play, the rest as far as liquidity for a real online poker market in US is now next to nil. That is what is most important. So while PA may roll out its online gambling, it will be purely intrastate and so will other states like NV, NJ, and DE. Unless and until one of the two outs I mention above occur, I don't see how online poker for US OVERALL will ever now gain any real traction.
Although a Court may find differently than you assume,

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1342249.html ,

you've hit upon a real problem even if they do so ..... regulated gambling companies, payment processors and banks are risk adverse. There was still no State licensed online poker in the US during the stretch between the Mastercard litigation and the 2011 OLC favorable memo.

The interstate poker pooling that was emerging could return, but that ship seems likely to have sailed ....

Sports betting is more of a driver at the State level and that can move forward intrastate even under this latest OLC missive. (Keep an eye on what the Georgia Lottery says/does. They are not necessarily a "business" perhaps and PASPA's repeal might give them an extra round in their legal magazine.)

This matter will be litigated, there are real parties in interest in the US who face a 90 day window before they suffer irreparable harm and they know the way to the courthouse door.

Last edited by Gzesh; 01-17-2019 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:22 AM   #66
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Current administration appointed a total of 85 judges, 30 of them to the Courts of Appeals.

How big of a factor that is in OLC opinion, which is blatantly political, being upheld if it does indeed end up in courts?
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:20 PM   #67
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

IMO this kills interstate online poker until it's legalized federally. I don't think businesses will want to re-enter the market in, say, 2021, knowing they may have to exit in four years.

If you ask me, the move for the online poker industry is to ally with the marijuana industry. There's been a lot of talk that we're getting close to legalized recreational weed federally. There are 13 states that currently have either legal recreational weed or legal online poker (counting PA).

If their governors urged all of their members of Congress to vote for a bill jointly legalizing the two, that would be a huge voting block - 26 senators and 137 representatives.

Sadly, I don't think online poker stands much chance here on its own. Too many puritanical voting blocs that elect hardline conservative candidates who are never ever ever ever voting for it, and too few people who vote/donate/call members of Congress based on this issue. Essentially it's better to have 15% of voters fervently on your side than 65% saying "Meh, sure, seems fine... No big deal."

So making it about states rights and the DOJ trampling on it's own ruling, and convincing the weed states they could be next may be the only play here.

It sucks big time, because I really thought PA was going to be a tipping point state to show just how big the potential for tax revenue was.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:10 PM   #68
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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IMO this kills interstate online poker until it's legalized federally. I don't think businesses will want to re-enter the market in, say, 2021, knowing they may have to exit in four years.

If you ask me, the move for the online poker industry is to ally with the marijuana industry. There's been a lot of talk that we're getting close to legalized recreational weed federally. There are 13 states that currently have either legal recreational weed or legal online poker (counting PA).

If their governors urged all of their members of Congress to vote for a bill jointly legalizing the two, that would be a huge voting block - 26 senators and 137 representatives.

Sadly, I don't think online poker stands much chance here on its own. Too many puritanical voting blocs that elect hardline conservative candidates who are never ever ever ever voting for it, and too few people who vote/donate/call members of Congress based on this issue. Essentially it's better to have 15% of voters fervently on your side than 65% saying "Meh, sure, seems fine... No big deal."

So making it about states rights and the DOJ trampling on it's own ruling, and convincing the weed states they could be next may be the only play here.

It sucks big time, because I really thought PA was going to be a tipping point state to show just how big the potential for tax revenue was.
As I understand it gambling isn't federally illegal like weed is. Right now the wire act is the only federal law pertaining to online gambling itself(UIGEA deals with payment processing only I believe). So a repeal or favorable amendment of the wire act would put sites in the all clear again.

Someone please correct me if that analysis is wrong.

I was really excited for PA this year as well and if they joined the current interstate compact I think things really would have taken off. Who knows, maybe they still will go for it even with this new opinion.

It seems pretty absurd they can apply the wire act to internet poker, when it was clearly created to go after bookies using phones across state lines 30 years before the internet even existed. Hopefully a judge agrees and tells the DOJ it covers sports betting only.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:43 PM   #69
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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If you ask me, the move for the online poker industry is to ally with the marijuana industry. There's been a lot of talk that we're getting close to legalized recreational weed federally. There are 13 states that currently have either legal recreational weed or legal online poker (counting PA).

If their governors urged all of their members of Congress to vote for a bill jointly legalizing the two, that would be a huge voting block - 26 senators and 137 representatives.
Unfortunately, you are dreaming. There is no way in hell those two will be linked. Last year in NY state alone when trying to get legal intrastate online poker over the finish line, the leader in the Assembly blocked the Senate for the third year in a row. The Assembly leader's 2018 excuse (lie) for not allowing passage was b/c he felt online poker should be SEPARATELY voted on and NOT linked with sports betting.

In other words, if all it took was one bought-and-paid-for state legislator to use "non-linkage" logic to prevent legalization, what makes you think the odds are any better that enough federal legislators would do the opposite - link all the more 2 disparate things (online poker and pot) to get online poker passed?
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:49 PM   #70
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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As I understand it gambling isn't federally illegal like weed is. Right now the wire act is the only federal law pertaining to online gambling itself(UIGEA deals with payment processing only I believe). So a repeal or favorable amendment of the wire act would put sites in the all clear again.

Someone please correct me if that analysis is wrong..
As long as the banking industry and the payment processors like Paypal continue to shun participating processing online poker transactions, (regardless of whatever else occurs prolly except federal legalization now imho), then the best that will happen going forward are maybe states like PA etc. finish and conduct their online poker operations intrastate. Interstate poker is dead indefinitely.

At best, national online poker MAY mirror on a much smaller scale what is going on with pot - more states continuing to "legalize" intrastate but no interstate commerce nor bank involvement until federal laws change. It is all comes down to the banks. That is truly where the money and crux of all this lies if there is to be a palatable future. Sheldy, Trump, the lawyers, the politicians etc. probably feel they have us by the balls simply b/c of that impediment alone. Pot merchants in that industry regardless of state put themselves at great risk every day simply b/c their cash cannot go into fdic bank accounts after the sales are done. Without liquidity and the banks, both industries will be severely capped in general. This is all just my opinion though.

Last edited by HurtLocker; 01-17-2019 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:15 PM   #71
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by HurtLocker View Post
Unfortunately, you are dreaming. There is no way in hell those two will be linked. Last year in NY state alone when trying to get legal intrastate online poker over the finish line, the leader in the Assembly blocked the Senate for the third year in a row. The Assembly leader's 2018 excuse (lie) for not allowing passage was b/c he felt online poker should be SEPARATELY voted on and NOT linked with sports betting.

In other words, if all it took was one bought-and-paid-for state legislator to use "non-linkage" logic to prevent legalization, what makes you think the odds are any better that enough federal legislators would do the opposite - link all the more 2 disparate things (online poker and pot) to get online poker passed?
I should be clear: I don't think my idea is likely to work, I think it's the only real play there is though. Like, if I had to guess at this point, there will not be legal interstate online poker in the US in my lifetime (I'm 32).
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:53 AM   #72
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Originally Posted by Well Read Ted View Post
Maybe this excerpt will help you make an educated guess:

"A coalition backed by billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson lobbied the Justice Department in 2017 to reconsider its 2011 decision that cleared the way for states to allow online gambling."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...st-sports-bets
He's 85 , they say the only good die young so this piece of **** should live forever.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:10 PM   #73
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

I thought I'd just throw this out there, wrt the Wire Act and its application ... while playing poker at ring tables would not seem to be a sporting event or contest, a poker tournament most certainly does ...

could we see a scenario where only ring games are allowed online? hmm
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:57 PM   #74
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

Adelson must be in the Dem's pockets too considering they aren't making a big stink about this like they do everything else that comes out of this administration.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:22 PM   #75
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Re: DOJ reverses the 2011 wire act opinion

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Adelson must be in the Dem's pockets too considering they aren't making a big stink about this like they do everything else that comes out of this administration.
I think that has more to do with the timing than anything. I doubt its a coincidence they decided to release this opinion in the middle of a partial government shutdown, with an uncertain AG, and new Mueller investigation headlines everyday. Any stink that is being made by anyone right now is going to be drowned out.

If states decide this is going to impact their lotteries, I think thats when you will start to hear a lot more.
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