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Federal judge rules poker not 'gambling' under federal law
Dan Taglioli at 11:32 AM ET
Both the defendant's and the government's interpretations of the statute are plausible. It is unclear from the text and legislative history of the IGBA whether every state gambling offense would permit a federal conviction. ... It is equally uncertain whether, in enacting the statute, Congress foresaw that poker businesses would be prosecutable under it. ... In light of these ambiguities, the rule of lenity requires that the defendant's interpretation be adopted, and his conviction be dismissed. His acts did not constitute a federal crime.Weinstein vacated the jury verdict and dismissed the original indictment. Dicristina would have faced up to 10 years in prison.
In December the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] clarified its stance on online gambling [JURIST report] in a memorandum opinion holding online non-sports related gambling that crosses state or international borders is not covered by the Wire Act of 1961 [text]. In November New Jersey passed Public Question 1 [JURIST report] by a 65 percent margin, amending the New Jersey constitution [text] to legalize sports gambling, but earlier this month professional and college sports leagues filed a lawsuit against the state [JURIST reports] seeking to enjoin the law as a violation of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) [text]. In 2010 theWashington Supreme Court [official website] ruled that a state ban on online gambling [JURIST report] is constitutional. That month the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] delivered three judgments striking down gambling restrictions [JURIST report] in Germany because the regulations were not designed to protect public interest. However the ECJ upheld a Swedish law restricting Internet gambling [JURIST report].
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