The U.S. Government has officially made illegal all forms of online gambling involving interstate transactions, Bloomberg reports. The U.S. Justice Department reversed its position from 2011 that said only interstate sports betting was illegal, in accordance to the U.S. Wire Act of 1961. However, under the department's new interpretation of the act, all online gambling involving interstate transactions is now barred.
The ruling will not affect online gambling in which the wagers are placed from within a state's borders, however this suggests casinos will have to have both a physical presence and a secure system in place to ensure that no bets originate from outside of the state. It's unknown at this time how the industry will navigate that issue in a way that satisfies the revised federal regulations.
This reversal could also affect crypto-based betting platforms like Augur although decentralization could push the definition of “interstate” to its philosophical limits. Most deeply affected are interstate lotteries as well as poker games that run between Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, according to the report. Casino operator shares fell on the news Tuesday, and if the past is any indication, the industry will likely fiercely endeavor to reverse today’s decision.