Skip to Content

Universities and Sports Betting: New Hampshire Federal Court Sets Aside 2019 DOJ Opinion on the Wire Act

On August 8, 2019 by Schnader in Criminal Defense

Danielle T. Bruno and Randall P. Hsia wrote a client alert, “Universities and Sports Betting: New Hampshire Federal Court Sets Aside 2019 DOJ Opinion on the Wire Act.”

“Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (‘DOJ’) issued a memorandum opinion that effectively reversed the DOJ’s 2011 guidance and advised federal prosecutors that the Wire Act’s prohibition against interstate gambling applies beyond sports betting to all interstate gambling. This reversal surprised many in the gambling industry, since the Wire Act had long been understood to apply only to sports betting across state lines.

In a turn of events, in June 2019, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire set aside the DOJ’s revised guidance on the Wire Act. See New Hampshire Lottery Commission v. Barr. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission had challenged the 2019 DOJ opinion, and sought a declaratory judgment that the Wire Act does not extend to state-conducted lottery activities. Several states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, filed amicus briefs in support of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.”

Click here to read the full alert. And click here to see Schnader’s series of articles about sports betting issues affecting colleges and universities.