Online Gaming

Last Updated: February 22, 2016

The Issue
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice dramatically re-interpreted the 1961 Wire Act, which prohibited online gambling. Under this unprecedented decision, the DOJ declared that the Wire Act only prohibits online sports betting but does not prohibit other online gambling (including lotteries). This re-interpretation undermined congressional actions that had been taken during the fifty years in which DOJ took the position that the Wire Act made all gambling over the wires (and online) illegal.

In an effort to reverse the DOJ’s re-interpretation of the law, Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 707) and Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the senate version (S. 1668).

Retail Impact
Lottery ticket sales generate substantial in-store foot traffic and sales. Lottery customers purchase additional items when they purchase their lottery tickets that are essential to the health of convenience stores. In fact, on 95% of their store visits, lottery customers purchased at least one other product in addition to their lottery purchases.

NACS Position
NACS supports H.R. 707 and S. 1668.