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Last week, the DOJ answered: The Wire Act only prevents players from wagering on sports outcomes _ other bets are OK.

The commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group in Washington, D.C., believes the DOJ’s interpretation of the Wire Act was correct, but added more confusion than solutions.

“There’s probably some staffers at work on (Capitol Hill) now taking a real hard look at this as they figure to bring some sanity,” said Frank Fahrenkopf, chief executive of the American Gaming Association.

Fahrenkopf said his group will keep pushing Congress for online poker legislation that establishes baseline rules for Internet poker operators.

Within the gambling world _ which includes lotteries, private and publicly-traded companies, American Indian tribes, software manufacturers, offshore sites and others _ there are differing visions for ideal online gambling laws.

Mark Hichar, an outside lawyer for the company that runs the Texas lottery, said the memo removes uncertainty and will prompt lotteries to begin running as many different kinds of games as are allowable under state laws.

“This helps lotteries, which are … determined to remain relevant and to attract a new generation of players,” said Hichar, who represents Rhode Island-based GTECH Corp.

Lotteries have generally opposed federal legislation, pushing for states to retain control of gambling laws.

I. Nelson Rose, a gambling law expert, said the opinion’s timing and deference to states could mean trouble for commercial casinos that want an inside track on running licensed online gambling.

“They’re going to have problems because when the states legalize, their natural inclination is to give it to the locals,” said Rose, who regularly writes about online gambling developments at his blog, Gambling and The Law.

And that, he said, is the big question: Who’s going to get the license?

“If you’re a Nevada casino operator, you don’t want to be competing in more than 50 separate jurisdictions against connected, politically powerful operators,” Rose said.

Rose said new federal laws are a longshot in 2012, while states could choose to enter into compacts with other states to pool players, making games more lucrative.

U.S. lotteries could emulate counterparts in Canada that run limited online gambling sites in the provinces, he said.

Recreational player Mark Gorman of Austin, Texas, said he’s skeptical, because different DOJ officials under a future president could change their opinion, forcing lawmakers to start over again.

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