N.J. Asks Biden to Declare Online Gambling as Legal
New Jersey is requesting confirmation from the US Justice Department that online gambling is legal under federal law, a subject that officials thought was settled until the Trump administration shifted position.
After the United States Supreme Court declared in 2011 that the federal Wire Act did not prohibit internet gambling, New Jersey became one of three states to authorize it during Barack Obama’s presidency.
New Jersey and 26 other states have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to overturn the Trump administration’s decision and return the agency to its earlier reading of the Wire Act. President Joe Biden nominated Garland, who was vice president when the Supreme Court initially published its judgment more than a decade ago.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the verdict benefited the Republicans’ largest political contributors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who spent $78 million in 2016 and $215 million in 2020. That was more than any other person had done.
Without internet gaming, New Jersey’s legal gambling sector — as well as the numerous state services and programs funded by gaming income and tax money – would have been decimated by 2020. Internet gambling has been and continues to be a vital sector in the United States, one that the Department of Justice has regarded as entirely legal since 2011 until its irrational backtracking.
New Jersey and 26 other states have requested Attorney General Merrick Garland to overturn the Trump administration’s decision and return the agency to its prior reading of the Wire Act. President Joe Biden nominated Garland, who was vice president when the Supreme Court originally announced its ruling more than a decade ago.
It’s past time for the Department of Justice to clear the air on this important issue.
According to Allison Nielsen, a spokesperson for the American Gaming Association, internet gambling, and sports betting accounted for 46.2 percent of the state’s gaming income in 2020. She stated, “No other state comes close to that share.” “Without those verticals, New Jersey would have ended up considerably closer to the opposite end of the spectrum.”