The Poker Players Alliance has commented on Party Gaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit's personal $300 million settlement with the US Department of Justice, and on the Wire Act guilty plea which formed part of the deal.
The PPA notes that this deal was a personal decision on the part of Dikshit in which he admitted breaking US federal law (the 1961 Wire Act) through his involvement in an online gambling website that facilitated casino gambling by American players.
Alphonse D'Amato, chairman of the Alliance, emphasises that the settlement was a personal one that in no way constitutes a legal precedent and does nothing to clarify the confusing interpretation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice. He notes that the DoJ is also at odds with other US entities regarding Internet betting in the US horseracing industry, which is exempted from the provisions of the UIGEA, and he called on US law makers to support legislative proposals that would clear up the legality position.
D'Amato also draws attention to a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has in the past set a valid precedent by ruling that the Wire Act was designed to curtail telephonic betting on sports, and therefore does not extend to cover casino or poker activities over the Internet.