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Wire Act changes applauded by PPA

Political advocacy group has called on Congress to clarify current federal law and create licensing and regulation regime for online poker.

Friday 30th December 2011

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) political advocacy group has issued a statement applauding the recent decision by the US Department of Justice to change its stance regarding the Wire Act and its applicability to online gambling. The Department of Justice announced on the Friday before Christmas that the Wire Act of 1961 will now only apply to sportsbetting, which is a move that could have important consequences on the way US authorities approach online gambling in the future. “This is a much needed clarification of an antiquated and often confusing law,” said John Pappas, Executive Director for the PPA. “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 PPA commends Assistant Attorney General Seitz for recognising this. However, this ruling makes it even more important that Congress act now to clarify federal law and to create a licensing and regulation regime for Internet poker coupled with clear laws and strong enforcement against other forms of gambling deemed to be illegal.” The PPA pointed out that the highest court to rule on the applicability of the Wire Act, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, dismissed a civil suit against Mastercard in 2002 that had been predicated on the idea that the legislation prohibited non-sportsbetting. It declared that ‘no other Circuit to date has found otherwise’ and that the announcement by the Department of Justice ‘accepts the Fifth Circuit’s position for the first time’. “This will provide policy makers at both the state and federal level with the legal confidence to move forward with licensing and regulation of online poker and other non-sporting activity within their respective jurisdictions,” said Pappas. “However, it is our hope that our federal policymakers see this as an incentive to move quickly to enact federal licensing and regulation before various states produce a mix of individual state schemes that may not be the best model to serve consumers.”

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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