[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 250 (Wednesday, December 31, 1997)]
[Page 68289]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-34086]



[DA 97-2685]

Commission Will Not Enforce Restrictions on Lottery 
Advertisements With Respect to Stations Licensed in New Jersey

Released: December 23, 1997.
    The Commission has received numerous inquiries concerning the 
December 16, 1997, decision of the United States District Court for the 
District of New Jersey in Players International, Inc., et al. v. United 
States and FCC, Civil Action No. 96-4911. In the interest of clarifying 
the FCC's enforcement position in light of this ruling, the Officer of 
General Counsel and the Mass Media Bureau are issuing this Public 
    In the Players  decision, the court declared that the restrictions 
on the broadcast of lottery information contained in Title 18 United 
States Code, Section 1304, and Section 73.1211 of the Commission's 
Rules, ``unconstitutionally infringe upon plaintiffs' First Amendment 
rights.'' The district court has not issued an injunction against the 
enforcement of the restrictions.
    After consultation with the Department of Justice, the Commission 
has decided, consistent with its response to a similar case in the 
Ninth Circuit, Valley Broadcasting v. United States, 107 F.3d 1328 (9th 
Cir. 1997), that it will not enforce the ban on the broadcast of 
lottery information against stations licensed to communities in New 
Jersey. This policy of non-enforcement applies to any such broadcasts 
which air from December 16, 1997, the date of the district court's 
decision, unless and until such time as that decision is overturned or 
otherwise altered or stayed.
    We caution broadcasters that they should ensure that the broadcast 
of information regarding lotteries is not prohibited or otherwise 
restricted by New Jersey state law.
    For further information, contact Catherine Withers, Mass Media 
Bureau, (202) 418-1430.

Federal Communications Commission.
Renee Licht,
Deputy Chief, Mass Media Bureau.
[FR Doc. 97-34086 Filed 12-30-97; 8:45 am]