Senators press for deputy AG to review online gambling opinion

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Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are pushing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to take action and reverse a 2011 Department of Justice opinion that changed the agency’s long-held understanding that online gambling is prohibited under federal law.

In a letter to Rosenstein last week, Graham and Feinstein noted that the department had interpreted the 1961 Wire Act as prohibiting online gambling up until the 2011 decision from the agency’s Office of Legal Counsel, which said the Wire Act only applies to sports betting.

“Internet gambling takes gambling too far,” they wrote. “It preys on children and society’s most vulnerable.”

As senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham and Feinstein said they are particularly concerned with whether the FBI has the resources to effectively oversee a robust internet gambling industry.

The senators said they warned in 2011 that allowing online gambling could turn every smartphone, tablet and personal computer into an around-the-clock casino.


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