Justice Department to Fight Online Gambling Ruling That Was a 'Win' for N.H. Lottery

Aug 20, 2019

N.H. Lottery has "i-Lottery" games, as well as more traditional in-store lottery games.
Credit NHLottery.com

The Justice Department is planning to challenge a federal judge's ruling that a law prohibiting interstate wagering applies only to sports gambling, renewing the dispute over whether it's illegal to states like New Hampshire to sell lottery tickets online.

The department filed notice Friday with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

The June ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which said a 2018 Justice Department opinion subjects commission employees to prosecution, creates uncertainty about whether it should cease operations and could cost the state more than $90 million annually.

The case revolves around the Wire Act, a 1961 law meant to target the mob that prohibits interstate wagering.

The department concluded in 2011 that online gambling within states that doesn't involve sporting events wouldn't break the law. But the agency changed its mind.

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