Last week, a Pennsylvania bill, which would restrict the hours of operation of Pennsylvania casinos, was referred to the House Committee on Gaming Oversight. Specifically, House Bill Number 165 would require casinos in the Commonwealth to close between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. In a memorandum accompanying the legislation, State Representative Will Tallman, a co-sponsor of the bill, suggested that closing the casinos for a couple hours each day would reduce the prevalence of problem gambling.
If this legislation were to pass, Pennsylvania would be an outlier in the region as casinos in neighboring states – including New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Maryland – maintain 24 hour gaming operations. Additionally, New York recently selected three upstate applicants to develop full-scale resort casino facilities, which are expected to open in the next couple years. Once open, each of these facilities will offer 24-hour gaming to patrons.
It will be interesting to see if the Pennsylvania House committee charged with overseeing the Commonwealth’s gaming industry will support this legislation – and add another hurdle to a casino industry that is already struggling to keep gaming dollars away from rival gaming markets – or if the committee will determine that the existing regulatory safeguards to prevent problem gambling are sufficient. Stay tuned for updates on this and other legislation affecting the Pennsylvania gaming industry.
New Jersey’s Gaming regulators garnered attention this week by issuing a press release that they are accepting applications for skill-based games for play in New Jersey’s casinos. This was a friendly reminder to the industry of two things: (1) that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s current regulations already allow for skill-based elements in slot machines; and (2) the Division’s “New Jersey first” policy, whereby gaming products that are submitted for testing to New Jersey prior to, or simultaneously with, any other jurisdiction or testing lab, if approved, can be on the casino floor within 14 days.
Continue reading NJ Regulators Seeking Skill-Based Gaming – Possible iGaming Implications
Japanese lawmakers have submitted a bill to the Japanese Parliament which would legalize casinos in Japan. The bill, which apparently has cross party support, including from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is the culmination of recent momentum prompted by the 2020 Olympics being awarded to Tokyo.
Continue reading Japan Moves Toward Legalizing Casinos
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.