Read Mr. Berger’s profile on the Global Gaming Business Magazine website.
Duane Morris partner Christopher Soriano of the firm’s Cherry Hill office appeared on a recent broadcast of the “Wagner & Winick on the Law” radio program, during which he joined co-hosts Dean Mitchel Winick and Professor Stephen Wagner, both of Monterey College of Law, to discuss the interplay of federal and state laws in the United States related to regulating gambling and how many of these laws are outdated. A sampling of the topics discussed include Internet gaming, office brackets, fantasy sports, casinos and the lottery.
Within the context of the NCAA March Madness Tournament, Mr. Soriano provided insights on the gaming law implications of office bracket tournaments, which, as in most instances where people put in money on the results of a sporting event, are illegal for the most part. Mr. Soriano also commented on the developing area of fantasy sports and the important distinction to be drawn between games of skill and games of chance. For example, the traditional season-long fantasy sports contests are considered legal because skill is involved; while daily fantasy contests have been viewed as being illegal games of chance. Therefore, where is the line between when something is a contest of skill and when it is a contest of chance?
To listen to the radio program in its entirety, please visit the Recent Podcasts, Webcasts and Audio section on the Duane Morris website.
On February 25, 2015, John Payne, Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee, introduced a bill that would allow existing Pennsylvania casinos to offer Internet gaming to patrons in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), which currently regulates casino gaming in the Commonwealth, would be responsible for licensing and regulating Internet gaming, as well. Under the bill, only existing casino licenses, or their affiliates, will be eligible to offer poker and other casino style games over the Internet. The proposed legislation also calls for the licensing of “significant vendors,” which would include operators of interactive gaming systems on behalf of the existing licensees. Importantly, the proposed legislation does not include a “bad actor” provision that would bar individuals or entities previously associated with illegal Internet gaming activities from being licensed by the PGCB. However, applicants would still be required to satisfy Pennsylvania’s suitability requirements, and it remains to be seen what view the PGCB will take of applicants who may have previously engaged in unlawful Internet gaming activities.
Subject to the limits under federal law, the bill limits participation in Internet gaming to those physically present in Pennsylvania, or from states with which Pennsylvania negotiates an Internet gaming agreement. The bill contemplates a rapid implementation cycle by requiring the PGCB to decide a licensing application within 120 days of a proper application being submitted. The PGCB may also grant temporary authorization to any vendor upon the filing of a complete application.
To read the full text of this Alert, please visit the Duane Morris website.
Associate Adam Berger in the Cherry Hill office wrote an article for the Philadelphia Business Journal titled “P.A. Gaming Industry at a Crossroads: Lessons from Atlantic City.”
As the song goes, Atlantic City didn’t know what it had until it was gone. In 2006, the city’s casinos brought in more than $5.2 billion in gaming revenue. In 2014, that number was down almost 50 percent, to $2.7 billion, and expected to fall even further in 2015, the first full year of operations following the closures of four casinos – Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza.
Pennsylvania casinos, on the other hand, experienced their highest total gaming revenue of $3.15 billion in 2012. Gaming revenues declined slightly in the Keystone State during each of the next two years, down to just over $3 billion in 2014, but despite the recent declines, Pennsylvania remains the second largest gaming market in the nation, next to Nevada. It is from this point of strength that Pennsylvania needs to recognize what it’s got and not repeat the mistakes of its neighbor to the east.
So how did New Jersey allow its casino market to fall so far? Clearly the loss of New Jersey’s East Coast monopoly on gaming — as a result of the advent of casino gaming in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania — did not help. But this increased competition did not seal Atlantic City’s fate; rather, its fate was sealed during the preceding decades when Atlantic City casino operators failed to improve their properties and make Atlantic City a true and viable destination. Instead of making necessary capital expenditures and adding resort amenities, casino owners upstreamed profits while their properties slowly became outdated. The result was a city full of mostly unexciting casinos that offered little more than the slots-in-box style options found in neighboring states.
To read the full article, please visit the Philadelphia Business Journal website.
The “40 under 40” list was made by the Global Gaming Business Editorial Advisory Board and the Innovation Group and honors top leaders in the Gaming industry.
The New Jersey Law Journal also selected Eric as a “New Leader of the Bar” for 2014. Eric and others selected will be honored at a dinner hosted by the New Jersey Law Journal in September.
Although by all accounts Pennsylvania’s gaming industry has a been a great success since the first casino opened in the Commonwealth in 2006, the industry now faces stiffer competition than ever for gaming dollars in the region. From 2006 to 2012, gaming revenues grew each year on a year-over-year basis, but declined slightly from 2012 to 2013. Within the next few years, several new casinos will open along the east coast in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland. Additionally, New Jersey and Delaware each recently launched Internet gaming in their states and Delaware has entered into a compact with Nevada to attract more Internet gaming revenue. The stakes are high for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry to remain competitive and to not lose gaming dollars to neighboring states.
Duane Morris special counsel Chris Soriano of the firm’s Cherry Hill office wrote “California, Regulated I-Gaming and the Tribal Question,” which was published in the March 2014 issue of World Online Gambling Law Report.
The California Legislature is currently considering two bills – AB2291 and SB1366 – to legalise online poker in the state. California Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr., introduced legislation that would authorise online poker in the state and permit Indian tribes with gambling rights to obtain licences. Mr. Soriano sheds light on the situation in California and discusses the credentials of both bills.
Click here to read the full text of the article.
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.