By the Way, Maryland’s General Assembly Also Passed Fantasy Competitions

Much has been written about the Maryland General Assembly’s April 12 passage of sports betting legislation that, upon signature of the governor, will authorize up to 60 mobile licenses and more than 40 retail licenses here. The fact that the same piece of legislation – House Bill 940 – will also legalize, regulate, and tax fantasy competitions seems to have gotten lost in all the excitement. Would-be fantasy operators should note the following features of the law.

HB 940 legalizes and expressly exempts fantasy competitions from criminal laws against betting, wagering and gambling. It is fair to glean from the carve-out from criminal law, the title of the act (“Regulation of Fantasy Gaming Competitions”), and the invitation to the Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to establish a voluntary exclusion list for fantasy players that the General Assembly considered fantasy competitions gambling.
Continue reading “By the Way, Maryland’s General Assembly Also Passed Fantasy Competitions”

PA Court Rules that Pennsylvania Skill Games are Neither Governed by the Gaming Act nor Regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. So What?

In two decisions issued in the last few months, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has established conclusively that the state’s Gaming Act is inapplicable to so-called “skill-based” video game machines that are ubiquitous in taverns, restaurants, and other liquor-licensed establishments in the Commonwealth. After a comprehensive discussion of the rules of statutory construction and the Gaming Act’s legislative history, the Court reasoned that the Gaming Act applies only to legal gambling devices operated in licensed establishments, and not to unlicensed or illegal slot machines, which remain governed by the Crimes Code. Therefore, the Court also held, the games and those who manufacture, distribute and operate them are not subject to regulation by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

In a January 22, 2020 article, the Delco Times declared the decision a “decisive win” for the game’s proponents. But was it? Continue reading “PA Court Rules that Pennsylvania Skill Games are Neither Governed by the Gaming Act nor Regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. So What?”