More Possible Lawsuits for DOJ Over Wire Act Reversal

After the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its intention to reverse the Federal Wire Act, from 2011 and banned all forms of online gambling involving interstate transactions, many impaired parties threatened to file a lawsuit against this federal executive department.

Now, the Department of Justice will probably have to face the most serious lawsuit to date – the one coming from the state of New Jersey.

The Lawsuit in the Making

Steve Sweeney, a major leader of the New Jersey State Senate, sent an official letter to the Department of Justice…

…where he stated that the department must immediately restore its previous opinion regarding the Wire Act.

He also said that the state will be forced to file a lawsuit against the department, with the help of the former state Senator, Frank Lezniak, if the DOJ doesn’t comply.

DOJ now has a 90-day grace period to either withdraw or respond. Should the department avoid doing either of those two things, the state of New Jersey will move forward with its lawsuit. The grace period will conclude by the end of April.

The State that Started It All

When the US Supreme Court lifted the sports betting ban in May last year, the state of New Jersey was the one responsible for such actions. The Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)…

…that prohibited all forms of sports wagering since 1992.

After NJ, many states followed in their footsteps by voting for sports betting legislation each in their own state Senate.

NJ Governor, Phil Murphy, said that iGaming is very important for the state and its economic development.

“This unexpected opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice not only jeopardizes the future of our casinos and gaming industry but also threatens the jobs of thousands of New Jerseyans. I am pleased to see that Attorney General Grewal is committed to challenging the Justice Department’s unreasonable interpretation of the Wire Act,” Murphy said.

This Decision is Still a Mystery

State attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, already publicly shared his opinion about this reversal of the Wire Act.

“Nothing changed in the years since the Justice Department allowed online gaming to move forward, and there was no good reason for the Justice Department to rethink its prior decision,” Grewal explained.

“Instead, media reports make clear that pressure to reconsider the opinion came from out-of-state casinos and their lobbyists. That is not a good enough reason to reverse course and undermine the online gaming industry. We want to know who Justice Department officials spoke with, and why they decided to change their minds,” he added.

Not only him, but many gambling industry officials are wondering why DOJ all of a sudden wants to reverse its decision from 2011…

…while some believe that it is not a coincidence that they made such a decision after removing a sports wagering ban.

The gambling industry is still waiting to find out the truth behind this, and hopefully, it will be revealed soon.


“US DOJ faces another possible lawsuit over Wire Act reversal”, Erik Gibbs,, February 19, 2019.

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