Ifrah Law represents Mobile gaming industry in NH Lawsuit against the US Attorney General; Jim Trusty interviewed by Gambling Compliance on Wire Act Analysis
April 12, 2019
Time For Oral Arguments In New Hampshire Lawsuit On Wire Act
11TH APR 2019 | WRITTEN BY: TONY BATT IN CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE
The state of New Jersey, one of five to authorize commercial online gaming, and the iDEA trade group that represents private companies involved in internet gaming have both filed motions in support of New Hampshire and are eligible to participate in Thursday’s arguments.
NeoPollard and iDEA are also urging the court to allow iDEA intervene as a formal party in the lawsuit, citing the “11th-hour gamesmanship” of the DOJ to defer any prosecution against state lotteries.
Attorneys for lotteries and commercial gaming interests are relying on two cases to bolster their theory that the Wire Act’s prohibitions on interstate gambling transmissions apply only to sports betting.
The first case, U.S. v Lyons, resulted in convictions in 2014 in Massachusetts of two men who worked as agents for an offshore sportsbook operation based in Antigua.
The Lyons decision is important because the ruling of the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes New Hampshire, cited the original 2011 OLC memo and referenced how the Wire Act applies exclusively to sports wagering.
Gaming executives have acknowledged engaging in forum shopping to find a favorable venue for the lawsuit against the DOJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act, and it is likely that Lyons was a key reason why the suit was filed in New Hampshire rather than another state with internet gaming or lottery operations.
The DOJ argued in its March 22 brief that the Wire Act reference in the Lyons ruling is dicta, or non-binding. Attorneys for NeoPollard, however, insist Lyons is controlling case law in the New Hampshire federal district.
“It’s no surprise that they are hoping to dismiss Lyons as dicta, but the ultimate ruling in Lyons relied directly on that Wire Act interpretation,” said James Trusty, who led the DOJ’s organized crime and gangs section from 2011 to 2018 before he joined the Ifrah law firm in Washington, D.C.
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