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Nevada gaming regulators to review Wire Act reinterpretation

State gaming regulators will review the impact the Justice Department’s new interpretation of the Wire Act will have on the industry in Nevada.

In one of her first public appearances since being named chairwoman of the state Gaming Control Board last month, Sandra Morgan said Thursday there’s been no further clarity on the 23-page opinion issued Jan. 14 by Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel of the department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

The Wire Act oversees the transfer of information over communications lines, including the internet.

The 23-page Department of Justice opinion reversed some of the stances the department made in 2011 under the Obama administration, when the department interpreted the law to ban sports betting but enabled interstate poker play and lottery sales.

The new interpretation of the act bans the use of the internet for gambling purposes, putting Nevada’s small online poker industry as well as interstate lotteries in several states at risk. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have made strides in internet gambling in recent years.

“We’re still reviewing the memorandum and looking at potential options,” Morgan said in response to a question after a short address at the UNLV Gaming and Hospitality education series.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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