IGT Sues United States Department of Justice

by Ciaran McEneaney - Monday, November 29th, 2021 9:52

Legal action

Lottery and gambling giant IGT is suing the US Department of Justice over a 2018 legal opinion suggesting that the company’s activities put it at risk of a federal felony prosecution.

According to documents filed by IGT’s legal team, the company needs clarification on whether or not it can run lotteries and other forms of gambling without facing prosecution. The company also stated that, if upheld, the legal opinion gives IGT “the choice of either fundamentally restructuring (or closing) its business, or risking a federal felony prosecution.”

The documents went on to add:

“While gambling laws around the country have been relaxed in recent years – especially around sports betting – the Wire Act is still in place, and the justice department has issued contradictory guidance around the types of gambling where the law still applies.”

Back in 2011, the Dept. of Justice issued a legal opinion stating that the 1961 Wire Act, that has been historically used to ban all forms of online gambling, applied only to sports betting. However, then in 2018 a new legal opinion was issued stating that it once again covered all forms of gambling.

Although the state of New Hampshire filed and won a similar lawsuit in 2019, IGT feels that further clarification is required as that case referred only to the state itself.

There has been no indication as to when the lawsuit, filed in Rhode Island, will come before the courts.

Ciaran McEneaney

Ciaran has a decade of experience writing for some of the biggest names in the eSports, poker, and casino industries.