New Jersey joins New Hampshire in Wire Act fight

The state of New Jersey has joined New Hampshire in the legal fight with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and their new opinion of the Wire Act.

If somehow you missed it, the Department of Justice threw the entire American online gambling industry into disarray earlier this year by changing their opinion on the Wire Act. Instead only applying to sports betting as it had previously, the new opinion applies it to all forms of gambling.

That includes online poker, casino gaming and lotteries, which many states had already embarked upon, based on the earlier ruling.

When did New Hampshire commence Wire Act DOJ challenge?

After the new opinion was announced, New Hampshire, or more specifically the New Hampshire Lottery System began the fight by filing a lawsuit against the DOJ to challenge the new Wire Act opinion. Earlier this week, New Jersey joined the lawsuit by filing an amicus bill.

The amicus bill was filed by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and is seeking a ruling from the courts on the legality of the new opinion based on legal precedent. It also has the potential for it to disrupt and destroy everything that the state has built under the old opinion.

A few specific stats and numbers sited in the amicus bill include 3,374 direct and in-direct jobs created in New Jersey thanks to the legalization and growth of online gambling. Between 2013 and 2016, the online gambling industry in New Jersey recorded $1 billion in gross sales, with $124.4 million being paid in state taxes and another $35 million paid to the state in license fees.

The new opinion has the potential to threaten those job and revenue numbers.

New Jersey also made note of their online poker compacts with Delaware and Nevada to help continue to grow the online poker market in all three states. Under the new Wire Act opinion, this compact would likely have to cease which would have a negative affect on online poker revenue for all three states.