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Legal Analyst Rose Predicts Online Gambling "Explosion" In US

Dozens of legal analysts have been weighing in over the past week on the future of Internet gambling in the US after the Department of Justice issued an opinion clarifying the 1961 Wire Act. At the head of the list was much respected Professor I. Nelson Rose from the Whittier Law School. Rose is considered by many to be the leading authority when it comes to gambling and the law in the US.

After the DoJ released their opinion, which was actually formed back in September, Rose predicted big things for the future of the online gambling industry, and he believes that states will not wait a long time to move into the industry.

"It undoes the single obstacle that was preventing the states from authorizing all forms of Internet gambling," said Professor Rose, when speaking about the legal opinion. "I think we're going to see an explosion in the next couple of years."

The legal opinion came after New York and Illinois questioned the Wire Act in relation to offering lottery tickets online. The clarification that was released indicated that only sports betting was illegal under the Wire Act. That opened the door for lawmakers all across the nation to start thinking up a plan to increase revenue to their state budgets.

Over the past few years, legislators have been searching for ways to combat the economic recession. Dozens of states have legalized expanded forms of land-based casino gambling, and a handful have moved towards Internet gambling this year. California, Hawaii, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, and New Jersey have all had discussions about regulating online poker.

California legislators have already said that the opinion from the DoJ opens the door for possible online lottery sales in their state.

"It does open up a major potential channel for lottery sales in California, but right now it's just a potential channel," said Robert O'Neill, the head of the California Lottery.

O'Neill did assert that online poker was not an immediate option for the lottery. State legislators may move towards online poker under a different regulatory body than the one that overseas the lottery.

The District of Columbia and Nevada are poised to become the first jurisdictions in the nation to regulate online poker. The two areas have already crafted laws legalizing the activity, with Nevada waiting only for federal approval. The DoJ legal opinion paved the way for Nevada to become the first state to offer online poker, possibly as soon as 2012.

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