New Jersey Attorney General calls out Adelson link to Wire Act re-do

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is looking to find out whether or not the hand of Sheldon Adelson was pushing the Department of Justice (DOJ) when it recently decided to reinterpret the Wire Act of 1961.
Earlier this week, Grewal filed a lawsuit in US District Court seeking to pry any documentation regarding Adelson, or his proxy group the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), and their involvement in the decision. He had previously filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking that same information from the DOJ, but that request was completely ignored (which is not surprising given current Attorney General William Barr’s loose relationship with the rule of law).
Grewal has also requested that the entire affair be expedited, since the DOJ’s new Wire Act interpretation goes into effect on June 14. When it does go into effect, it will ban interstate online gambling – which will put a good sized dent in New Jersey online gambling revenue. The ban also fulfills Adelson’s long held desire of nipping online gambling in the bud.
Gaming industry observers were stunned by the DOJ’s cynical revision of the Wire Act on the day after the US mid-term elections. The timing of the reinterpretation was especially suspect, given the fact that Adelson donated hundreds of millions of dollars to GOP candidates. His reward, it seems, was a prize package that included a ban on interstate online gambling.
In a press release that was reported on by The Press of Atlantic City, Grewal laid out his argument saying, “Online gaming is an important part of New Jersey’s economy, and the residents of New Jersey deserve to know why the Justice Department is threatening to come after an industry we legalized years ago. It’s especially important that we figure out whether this federal crackdown is the result of a lobbying campaign by a single individual seeking to protect his personal business interests.”
The DOJ’s decision regarding interstate online gambling and the Wire Act does not apply to lotteries, which makes the argument that it was a gift to casino owner Adelson that much stronger.