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Scott Andress Discusses DOJ’s Extension Request On International Game Technology’s Wire Act Lawsuit

Scott Andress, partner in the Jackson office and chair of the Gaming Practice, recently discussed with U.S. Gaming Review the implications of the extension granted in IGT’s Wire Act litigation against the DOJ.  Scott specifically addressed the consent motion filed by the DOJ last month in District Court for the District of Rhode Island, wherein the DOJ asked to be given until February 23, 2022 “to prepare an appropriate response in light of the government’s significant interest in the legal issues presented in this case.” 

In 2011, the Obama-era DOJ issued an OLC opinion that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting—effectively making interstate gambling legal in the U.S. for the first time.

However, in 2018 during the Trump administration, the DOJ revered its stance, issuing an OLC opinion that the Wire Act’s prohibition applies to all forms of gambling.  Thus, any form of gambling utilizing the internet would be illegal.

Litigation ensued, and an opinion that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting was upheld by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in January.  Although the Government did not further appeal, the current DOJ remains silent as to its position going forward.  IGT has filed a lawsuit over the DOJ’s position on the Wire Act.

Scott stated in the article, “It is not at all unusual for a party to request and receive extensions in which to answer or otherwise respond to a complaint,” Scott Andress, an attorney with Balch and Bingham LLP, told US Gaming Review. “It is also typical, as a matter of professional courtesy, for the other party to assent, or not object to, requests for extension.”

U.S. Gaming Review is an independent online news source providing honest reviews and leading industry news on the U.S. online gaming industry. 

Scott possesses extensive experience as a corporate and transactional attorney, with a focus on gaming law. Since the infancy of the Mississippi gaming industry, he has represented its interests, counseling clients in areas of permitting and approvals, regulatory compliance, transactional and lending matters, and site legality and patron dispute litigation. His work has garnered respect among gaming regulatory agencies, and he has served on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors. Scott is also skilled in general corporate and transactional work, including business organization, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing transactions, and commercial real estate. In all matters, Scott is highly responsive and attuned to the needs of clients, always striving to deliver holistic solutions.