Forget the opening of the new "racino" in Queens: New York State gamblers will soon be able to lose money through the Internet! The NY Times reports that as part of a Friday news dump, "The Justice Department has reversed its long-held opposition to many forms of Internet gambling, removing a big legal obstacle for states that want to sanction online gambling to help fix their budget deficits."
See, New York State and Illinois were curious whether they could offer online gaming, and sought clarity on the "Wire Act of 1961, which prohibits wagering over telecommunications systems that cross state or national borders"—specifically, whether the act "prevented those states from using the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within their own borders." The Justice Department decision has now "opened the door for states to allow Internet poker and other forms of online betting that do not involve sports. Many states are interested in online gambling as a way to raise tax revenue."
New York Lottery director Gordon Medenica told the Times, "We’ve been waiting for a couple years. We’re thrilled that this ruling has now come down and confirmed that our legal analysis was correct all along," and that besides adding two more jackpot games, the NY Lottery will "allow New York residents to buy single-draw tickets online for the first time."
Plus, as Massachusetts' state treasurer points out, "This will put additional pressure on Congress and others to allow online poker and other Internet gambling," an issue Native American tribes are weighing in on, too. Merry Christmas, y'all,