Saturday June 27,2015 : LOTTERY RETAILER TRADE BODY APPLAUDS R.A.W.A. RE-INTRODUCTION (Update)
Notoriously misinformed executive thinks this is really a restoration.
Given its track record of opposition to online ticket sales in state lotteries, it is hardly surprising that the the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing Stores (NACS) was among the first last week to applaud the re-introduction to the US Senate of the Restoration of America's Wire Act.
The notoriously misinformed Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Lyle Beckwith almost immediately issued a statement with a rather biased slant on S.1688, proclaiming:
“NACS supports this legalization, as it will resume the decades-old interpretation of the Wire Act to mean that lottery games cannot be played online.”
The NACS statement sets out the principal effects of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act as:
• Return the Wire Act to where it was in 2011 before the Department of Justice reinterpreted the long-standing statute;
• Not affect traditional, retail store lottery sales;
• Not affect gaming establishments, in states where gaming was legal prior to 2011 (in other words it will reverse the legalised positions taken by Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.)
But as many knowledgeable political and legal observers have pointed out, the use of the term "restoration" in the RAWA context is misleading and inaccurate; the original 1961 Wire Act and its intent was introduced long before the public advent of the internet, and therefore cannot be interpreted as a blanket ban on the internet as a wagering medium.
It took years of Department of Justice attempts to falsely apply the Act to all forms of internet gambling before its acknowledgement in December 2011 that the measure applies only to online sports betting.
Contrary to a picture that some anti-online gambling US politicians have tried to paint, that very important policy change was not a whimsical decision by some backroom lawyer; it was the carefully considered 13-page assessment of experts at the Office of Legal Counsel, a fact noted by the in-depth and widely respected study of the Wire Act by Michelle Minton titled “The Original Intent of the Wire Act and Its Implications for State-based Legalization of Internet Gambling” (Occasional Paper Series, 29. Las Vegas: Center for Gaming Research, University Libraries.)
This is recommended reading for Mr. Beckwith and will hopefully enhance his understanding of the subject.