Duane Morris Partner Gil Brooks on Gaming Law News Radio

In this broadcast from Gaming Law News Radio, Duane Morris partner Gil Brooks discusses the long-running tax assessment dispute between the owners of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and the city, which resulted in a reduction of the property’s assessed value by more than two-thirds (from $543 million to $165 million). He also touches on some of the other recent headlines coming from the Atlantic City market.

To listen to the broadcast, please visit the Gaming Law News Radio website.

PA Gaming Control Board Considers Status of Philadelphia Casino License

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (“PGCB”) Chairman, William Ryan stated that the PGCB met last week to discuss the status of the remaining Philadelphia casino license, which was revoked from its prior holder in December 2010. Ryan stated, “At least for now, we decided not to do anything,” however [the Board] will revisit the issue… in the not too distant future.” The second Philadelphia casino license, however is not the only remaining opportunity for a new casino in Pennsylvania. There is a pending challenge to the Board’s awarding of a “resort” casino license to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort outside of Pittsburgh. There is also a remaining racetrack casino license recently held by Centaur in western PA.

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Duane Morris Helps Secure $19.5 Million Tax Credit for Casino

A team of Duane Morris lawyers, led by Gil Brooks of the firm’s Cherry Hill office, helped the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel reach a settlement agreement with Atlantic City getting the casino a $19.5 million tax credit. The team representing RIH Acquisitions NJ, LLC, which owns and trades as Atlantic Club, included Duane Morris attorneys Frank Suglia, Cathy Sakach and George Kroculick, among others. The settlement approved by A.C.’s City Council after numerous property tax appeals in the Tax Court of New Jersey, reduces the casino’s taxable assessed value by more than two-thirds, from $543 million down to $165 million. The casino’s multimillion dollar tax credit will reportedly be delivered in some combination of cash payments and future credits.

To read articles on the settlement, please visit the Press of Atlantic City and NJBIZ.

Officers Close Philadelphia Internet Sweepstakes Café

Monday morning Philadelphia Police culminated a several month investigation by raiding a South Philadelphia storefront and seizing 30-40 computers and equipment. Both myfoxphilly.com, http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Internet_Sweepstakes_Cafe_Raid_South_Philadelphia_052112 and 6abc.com, http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Internet_Sweepstakes_Cafe_Raid_South_Philadelphia_052112 reported on the law enforcement activity at the parlor suspected of housing an illegal online gambling operation. The location had been the recent subject of an article earlier this month in the national publication, The Daily, http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/05/13/051312-biz-sweepstakes-cafes-kelley-1-4/ , GAMBLING ON A LOOPHOLE, which quoted Duane Morris’ J. Scott Kramer

New Jersey Pushes Forward to Legalize Internet Gaming

The New Jersey Legislature took another step towards legalizing online gaming in New Jersey. On May 10, 2012, the New Jersey Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee introduced amendments to the prospective internet gaming legislation which was recently passed by a State Senate committee. The amendments provide additional clarity with respect to the licensing of prospective internet gaming service providers. The proposal also increases the tax rate on internet gaming revenue and provides additional safeguards to keep out dubious internet gaming companies that have facilitated what the U.S. government considers to be illegal wagering from U.S. residents.

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New York Changes its Gaming Regulatory Structure

New York’s recent State Budget law changed the gaming regulatory structure in New York state moving forward. The new law, the relevant parts of which become effective on October 1, 2012, created the New York State Gaming Commission, a new agency which will take over the regulation and responsibilities for all forms of legalized in New York including Class III Indian Gaming, pari-mutual wagering(both on-track and off-track wagering), bingo and chartable games of chance, the lottery and prospective New York casinos.

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Pennsylvania Gaming Returns 5th Year of Rebates to Property Owners; Horsemen Stiffed

Pennsylvania property owners received increased rebates this year toward their school tax bills as part of the Commonwealth program of using a share of gaming tax revenue to aid citizen’s property tax burden. The payments fulfill the promise of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Act to ”provide a significant source of new revenue to the Commonwealth to support property tax relief, wage tax reduction, economic development opportunities and other similar initiatives. 4 .P.S. 1102 Legislative Intent (2004). However, the signature intent behind Pennsylvania’s creation of a gaming industry, which is now second only to Nevada’s in casino revenue among the states, “to enhance live horse racing, breeding programs, entertainment and employment in this Commonwealth, has not proven as easily achieved. Successive administrations in Harrisburg have sought to lower the revenue originally intended for the benefit of Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry.

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Federal On-line Wagering Legislation May Pre-Empt States’ Efforts

The Wall Street Journal reported on April 25, 2012, that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D) Nevada, and Sen. Jon Kyl, (R)-Arizona. are preparing legislation which would legalize online poker but outlaw many other forms of online gambling, including the type of internet wagering currently being contemplated by states such as New Jersey, Nevada and California.

The Journal reported that the federal legislation being drafted is “rattling state governments, even though few details have been made public.” The draft legislation purportedly would not only create a federally controlled internet based wagering system for online poker, but it will prohibit individual states from allowing many other forms of online gambling.

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Duane Morris Partner J. Scott Kramer Appointed Chair of the PA Bar Association Gaming Law Committee

Congratulations to Duane Morris partner J. Scott Kramer on being appointed Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Gaming Law Committee for 2012-13. Scott will lead the committee as it endeavors to review, study and make recommendations concerning legislative proposals in the area of gaming law; promote the understanding of laws, regulations and court decisions; and develop materials and educational programs to promote improvements in the field of gaming law.

How Will New Jersey Regulate Internet Wagering?

The recent New Jersey internet wagering legislation, co-sponsored by N.J. State Senators Lezniak and Whelan, appears to have momentum. The buzz throughout the state capital is that some version of the legislation will be passed soon, perhaps as early as June. As with a similar internet wagering bill that passed the New Jersey Legislature last year prior to being vetoed by the Governor, only Atlantic City casinos will be permitted to offer gamblers the ability to wager of the internet.

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