The arguments in the lawsuit that was recently filed against the United States Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act are set to begin in 10 days. While the country’s justice system is known to be quite slow in some instances, some of the people involved in the lawsuit are hopeful that the there might be a rather quick resolution in as far as the matter is concerned.
According, Charles McIntyre, the executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC), there is a possibility that the Paul J. Barbadoro, the judge who while be hearing the arguments, will render his decision on the matter before the end of May. While he expects that there will be about a month of deliberation, the director hopes that the judge will consider how an extension of the timelines is likely to impact state budgets.
“In a statutory issue. There’s a lot of things to look at. We’re talking about a law passed pre-internet. Most laws have been updated to reflect technology, and this one obviously hasn’t. He’s a very deliberate, considerate judge, so I think he’ll take at least 30 to 40 days to make a decision,” Charles McIntyre said in a recent interview.
The Wire Act opinion that was delivered in January by the Department of Justice decrees that the law applies to all forms of online gambling and not just sports betting as stipulated by the previous 2011 Wire Act opinion. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has been championing a lawsuit against that opinion. As it stands, many more states and state agencies have since involved themselves in the lawsuit by filing amicus briefs.
In New Hampshire, the governor and the legislature have until the end of June to finalize on a two-year budget. McIntyre pointed out that the lottery projections for the budget over the two-year period currently carries a figure of about $192 million pending the outcome of the Wire Act court case. In its current state, the rather broad interpretation of the DOJ opinion could endanger some of the retail offerings.
What Should We Expect?
Despite a recent motion forwarded by the DOJ asking the proponents of the lawsuit to stop pursuing the case, the NHLC director has asserted that the hearing will still go on as scheduled. He also notes that arguments over lack of standing and jurisdiction are “standard litigation practice.”
McIntyre further predicts that the judge will deliver the ruling within a narrow window between the middle and end of May. This claim has since been backed by New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.