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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.

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study released by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.