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A woman placing a bet at a race. Photo: Clint Hughes/PA Images via Getty Images

Sports betting has been legalized in eight states so far in 2018, with more on the way, but the Wire Act of 1961 may be standing in the way of bettors being able to bet across those states.

Why it matters: Federal legislators are considering changes for the Wire Act, but it's unclear what those changes are and whether they'll impact bettors moving forward.

The big picture: The Wire Act bans bettors from transmitting gambling data and information for sports betting across states through the use of wire services such as telecommunications.

  • Multiple states offer sports betting options. Transmitting bets between those states is legal, but if those bets are transmitted between intermediary states, it may not be.
  • "I’m in New Jersey, you’re in Las Vegas. If I place a bet and that bet travels through Texas ... does that violate the Wire Act? It’s the open question of intermediate routing," Oklahoma State University assistant professor John Holden told Axios.

Background: The Wire Act was originally created as a weapon against organized crime. Mob members would use wire services to transmit data on bets for rigged events across the country. This act gave the federal government a way to charge them.

  • This bill was not meant to punish casual bettors and wasn't an issue when sports betting was illegal.
  • The act was also drawn up at a time where the Internet didn't exist. Now it must be clarified.

Yes, but: The act is hardly ever enforced. It's too unclear federally and, now, state laws vary across the country. For example, the act could've been used to punish FanDuel and DraftKings, Holden said, but it never was.

Be smart: Whether the rule is changed or expanded, "it's of no consequence if it's not being enforced," Holden said.

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Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

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President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.