PA Attorney General One Of Several Attacking New Wire Act Opinion

Written By Jessica Welman on February 14, 2019 - Last Updated on April 25, 2022
Whitaker Wire Act criticism

The new Department of Justice’s Wire Act opinion has a growing list of opponents. The revised version of the 2011 opinion casts a much wider net on what it covers. With all forms of online gambling potentially at risk, people are lining up to try and take the measure down.

The first letter to the Trump administration came from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the top lottery lobbying group. The Pennsylvania Lottery and its online lotto games are one of dozens of state lotteries that could lose billions if the DOJ prosecutes based on the new opinion.

After the lottery sounded off, the attorneys general for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey chimed in. The two co-authored a letter to the DOJ challenging the opinion. In their words, the “latest reversal is wrong, and it undermines the values of federalism that our states count on.”

In addition to the letter, the AGs filed a Freedom of Information Act request for paperwork relating to the new opinion. They want to determine the extent billionaire Sheldon Adelson exerted his influence to bring about the new take on the law.

They aren’t the only ones suspicious of Adelson either. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appeared before the House Oversight Committee last week. During the hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin grilled Whitaker on the new opinion, bringing up a suspicious $1.3 million donation to Whitaker’s nonprofit. Raskin even invoked Adelson’s name, but Whitaker denied ever meeting the mogul.

One group is even ready to take the DOJ to court. The New Hampshire Lottery is said to be preparing a lawsuit to protect the state’s lottery interests from prosecution from the DOJ.

With the DOJ getting it from all angles, one thing we know is no one plans to take this new opinion lying down.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for

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