Five years after a legal opinion cleared the way for states to regulate online casino and poker games, the U.S. gaming industry continues to fight a bitter civil war on Capitol Hill over internet gambling.

On one side is Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, which is waging a campaign to institute a federal ban on all online wagering. On the other is Caesars Entertainment and a number of other companies who are fighting to stave off a federal prohibition.

At the center of the legislative debate is the Wire Act, a 1961 anti-gambling law.

The U.S. Department of Justice concluded in 2011 that the Wire Act of 1961 applies only to sports betting, and not other forms of interactive gambling.

But proposed legislation — entitled Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) — would see Congress extend the 1961 law’s scope to prohibit online operations already live in New Jersey, Nevada and other states, while curtailing any further expansion. 

See below for GamblingCompliance’s coverage of federal legislation to ban internet gambling. 

Insight & Analysis

New Jersey’s congressional delegation has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid taking action that would threaten the state’s online casinos, a market which grew 25 percent this year and is set to see further revenue gains in 2018.

Four Republican congressmen are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to discard its controversial 2011 memo which has led to the legalization of internet gambling in four states.

Two U.S. senators are pushing the U.S. Department of Justice to withdraw its 2011 opinion that effectively cleared the way for state-regulated internet casino gambling, according to a letter obtained by GamblingCompliance on Monday.

Las Vegas Sands’ push for a federal internet gambling ban took a big hit when Pennsylvania legalized web gaming last month, according to industry lobbying sources whose employers support online gambling expansion.

More than five months after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to review a 2011 opinion which cleared the way for legalized internet gambling in the United States, nothing seems to have happened and gaming lobbyists are beginning to wonder if Sessions will take any action at all.

The casino industry must embrace social and online gaming if it is to continue meeting changes in society and customer behavior, according to Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company.


Las Vegas Sands’ (LVS) unsuccessful bid to ban U.S. Internet gambling in the fourth quarter of 2014 did not push federal lobbying spend...