Judge: Internet wagering law only applies to sports gambling

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a law prohibiting interstate wagering applies only to sports gambling and not to state lotteries as some had feared.

Monday’s ruling sets aside an opinion issued last year by the U.S. Justice Department that interpreted the 1961 Wire Act as applying to any form of gambling that crosses state lines. That raised concerns that states would lose their lotteries and the educational and other programs they fund.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission sued in February, saying the opinion subjects its employees to prosecution, creates uncertainty about whether it should cease operations and could cost the state more than $90 million a year.

In his ruling, Judge Paul Barbadoro said the state had the standing to sue and that the Wire Act is limited to sports gambling.

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