Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Wouldn't Restrict Online Gambling Growth

Former VP Says A Biden Administration Would Operate Under The 2011 Interpretation Of The Wire Act

Print-icon
 

It looks like Andrew Yang started a trend.

Nearly two months after Yang became the first candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination to openly support the legalization of online poker at the federal level, another potential nominee voiced support for the gambling world.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Las Vegas last week and told CDC Gaming Reports that he “doesn’t support adding unnecessary restrictions to the gaming industry like the Trump Administration has done.”

While he isn’t coming out in support of full legalization like Yang did, Biden did make it known that he sides with the New Hampshire federal judge that overturned, at least temporarily, the Department of Justice’s new interpretation of the Wire Act.

At the start of 2019, the DOJ released its latest interpretation of the Wire Act, which basically stated that any interstate online gambling would be deemed illegal. In 2011, the DOJ ruled that the Wire Act only applied to interstate sports gambling.

The new interpretation of the law called into question the legality of the current shared online poker player pool between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, as well as interstate lotteries such as the power ball.

Biden said that if he were elected President, his DOJ would operate under the 2011 interpretation, which would not interfere with the current progress being made in the only gaming space. Pennsylvania launched online gaming last month, West Virginia legalized it in March and Michigan’s online gambling legislation is only a signature away from becoming law.

When the latest interpretation of the Wire Act was released, it was met with pushback from several states. The New Jersey Senate President threatened the DOJ with a lawsuit in February and in March, the New Hampshire Lottery filed its own suit after worrying about the legality of its operation, which houses its servers outside of the state.

A U.S. District Judge in New Hampshire ruled that the latest interpretation was off the mark and reiterated that the 2011 opinion held the correct legal framework to view the law.

The ruling was appealed by the DOJ and the briefs were scheduled to be submitted by November 12, but the appeals court granted the DOJ a delay. The department now has until December 20 to submit the paperwork.