A Casino in Every Smartphone -- Law Enforcement Implications

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
December 9, 2015
1:00 PM


  • To examine how due to the inherently interstate and borderless nature of the internet, the 2011 Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Council (OLC) memo potentially opens the door to a casino in every smartphone around the country.
  • To examine how online gambling is vulnerable to being used for money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other criminal activity.


  • In 2011, DOJ OLC reversed a longstanding DOJ policy by declaring that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting and not all forms of betting. This policy reversal potentially opens the door for online gambling in all 50 states.
  • Lawmakers argue that a policy change of this magnitude should be determined by Congress and not DOJ.
  • As a result of the OLC memo, New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware have already licensed online gambling, and many states are looking to follow their lead.
  • Earlier this year, Chairman Chaffetz introduced H.R. 707, Restore America’s Wire Act, which would clarify that the Wire Act bans all forms of internet gambling.
  • Newsweek included an in-depth look at online gambling’s effect on children, among other things, in an August 2014 issue.


Mr. Joseph S. Campbell
Assistant Director
Criminal Investigative Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Honorable Alan M. Wilson
Attorney General
South Carolina

The Honorable Donald W. Kleine
Douglas County Attorney

The Honorable Mark Lipparelli
State Senator