The U.S. Justice Department has issued a new legal opinion that could further restrict all forms of online gambling, local media reports.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel reversed a 2011 opinion that the Federal Wire Act applies to all forms of online gambling, not only sports betting.
While a plethora of state and federal laws already make most online gambling illegal, the new reading of the Wire Act is expected to give authorities an additional tool to crack down against online gambling operations.
One official from the Department of Justice said that the change is not expected to affect “large swaths of gambling [companies].”
“The change here will have some impact, but it doesn’t mean that large swaths of gambling that were once legal are now illegal and vice versa,” said the official, quoted in the Washington Post.
“Not to say that there couldn’t be some situation where this extends the reach; this is just one more tool.”
A report from Bloomberg said the new reading of the law may affect states that began selling lottery tickets online after the 2011 opinion, as well as casinos that offer online gambling.