Latest Gambling News – 19 February 2019

Viktor Vangelov | Published 19 Feb 2019, 10:21 a.m.

Last week we talked about the US and all changes that are going on there, from a legal perspective, in our US Gambling News – What’s Going On Across The Pond and we’ve got more fresh news this time, even though it’s been just one week. 

Delaware is one of the latest states to legalise online gambling and the results are coming in – January has been a pretty successful month for the industry in The First State. The total gaming handle in January exceeded $7.4 million. 

In other news, NetEnt just acquired a permanent license to operate in New Jersey. The state’s division of Gaming Enforcement issued NetEnt a Casino Service Industry Enterprise license. More news coming from The Garden State. Namely, the President of the State Senate has announced that the state intends to file a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice for their decision to reinterpret the Wire Act in a way which prohibits all forms of interstate/federal gambling. 

New Jersey isn’t the only state that threatens legal action, the New Hampshire lottery already did it. Namely, a lawsuit has been filed a complaint in the local district court, challenging the decision. 

Now moving on from the East Coast to the American South. Kentucky is another state that might introduce sports betting, as the issue was discussed during a committee hearing last week, on the 13th of February.  

Almost $280K In Revenue Generated In Delaware

It is even more impressive to consider figures from this year and 2018. A total of $4.5 million was wagered in January 2018, compared to almost $7.5 this year, whereas the total revenue during the first month of last year was somewhat lower than $180K. 

The revenue growth is 57%, whereas the rise of the total wagered funds is 64%. The funds are almost evenly spread - $3.6 million was wagered on video lottery, whereas $3.8 million worth of wagers were placed on table games. Online wagers where made via the three licensed venues – Harrington, Dover Downs and Delaware Park. Most funds were wagered at Dover Downs ($3.2 million), followed by Delaware Park with $2.8 million. 

New Jersey Licence For NetEnt

NetEnt have been providing services to New Jersey since 2015, but now their licence is permanent. A representative of NetEnt stated that the company hopes to expend their US presence and enter additional states. In 2018, $192 million of revenue went through NetEnt, that’s a 9% increase compared to 2017.

DOJ Opinion To Be Challenged

According to the opinion from 2011 the Wire Act only applied to sports betting, but the DOJ reverted that with a new opinion that was issued last month and according to their latest interpretation the Wire Act applies to all forms of gambling. 

New Jersey weren’t happy with this opinion and the President of the State Senate asked the Department of Justice to reconsider their decision, threatening to take legal action against the DOJ. He added that he authorised Raymond Lesniak to start the procedure in the District Court on behalf of the State. The DOJ announced that companies will have 90 days to implement the new opinion.

New Hampshire is ahead of New Jersey and the state lotter and the Attorney General have already filed a complaint. They argue that the opinion ignores previous precedents that applied to the scope of the Wire Act.