Pennsylvania Regulator Warns of Compliance With Wire Act

Last week the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board sent a memo to licensed online gambling firms within their state which gives them 30 days to explain how their operations could be impacted by the new interpretation of The Wire Act by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The state's regulator sent the memo to licensed betting groups in the wake of the change of opinion, which could have major implications on lotteries, casino games, and poker products that are offered in cyber form. Online activities are currently permitted in-state, but it's unknown whether or not the feds will come after intrastate activities, as the services use telecommunications wires to transmit information. There is legitimate concern that any information that crosses out of state lines could cause a lawsuit from the federal government, which could shut down a lucrative new industry.

The memo will see each of the licensed betting groups being required to explain that information doesn't leave the state, which will likely be an issue moving forward. Current Pennsylvania law allows for some data centers to be based outside of their borders, but will need to be changed to comply with the new interpretation. Indeed, the regulator says that, "it is a change not of the Board's making but one commanded by the changing interpretation by federal law enforcement authorities."

The Department of Justice says that it will not enforce the opinion for at least 90 days, but it will likely begin suing for compliance after that. Because of this, Pennsylvania is looking to be in compliance in order to maintain operations.

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