New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday, seeking to force the federal agency to turn over records related to its crackdown on state-sanctioned online gambling.
“Online gaming is an important part of New Jersey’s economy, and the residents of New Jersey deserve to know why the Justice Department is threatening to come after an industry we legalized years ago,” Grewal said. “It’s especially important that we figure out whether this federal crackdown is the result of a lobbying campaign by a single individual seeking to protect his personal business interests.”
Online gambling brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue per year, Grewal said.
Grewal’s office had filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act seeking documents linking the DOJ’s crackdown to lobbying by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
The DOJ reversed a decade-old decision that made online gambling legal under the federal Wire Act in January, opening up online gambling companies to criminal charges in states like New Jersey, where online gambling is allowed under state law.
Grewal’s office filed the FOIA request on Feb. 5 of this year, a few weeks after the DOJ announced the reversal, which is due to go into effect on June 14.
The suit, filed in New Jersey’s U.S. District Court, asks that the DOJ be forced to divulge the relevant documents within 20 days.