Plaintiffs Win Big: NY Court Classifies Fantasy Sports Betting as Gambling

NY State Court Judge Connolly ruled on Monday that fantasy sports contests are gambling, thus rendering the state law legalizing their operation unconstitutional. The decision is a major blow to industry leaders like DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. However, the Justice noted that the decision fails to bind the lawmakers from excluding such contests from the penal law governing anti-gambling regulations. Plaintiffs brought the suit against Governor Cuomo and the NY State Gaming Commission opposing the law legalizing fantasy sports betting. The law originally legalized…
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MLB Asks Lawmakers to be Cautious in Recently Legalized Sports Betting World

On July 31, 2018, at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president with Major League Baseball, asked lawmakers to be cautious in the recently legalized sports betting world. As we have previously reported, in May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. In its majority opinion, the court voted to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Although PAPSA did not…
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Over/Under: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back for Legal Betting in New Jersey

On Tuesday, May, 25, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. Shortly after, New Jersey became the first state to officially make wagering legal and gain access to the estimated $150 billion market by approving Assembly Bill A-411. However, America’s professional sports leagues did not respond positively to New Jerseys’ legislation. Specifically, the leagues are worried about the potential for corruption and athletes manipulating the…
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NFL Issues Statement on Regulation of Sports Gambling

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited states from authorizing gambling on sports. The ruling opened the door for states to legalize and regulate the gambling industry within their borders. However, the ruling also leaves open the possibility that Congress will act to set national standards in the regulation of sports gambling. Indeed, shortly after the ruling was handed down, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said that he will introduce legislation to regulate sports gambling on a federal…
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DraftKings Hires Former Mass. AG as New Regulations Appear Imminent

In the weeks following the DraftKings-FanDuel daily fantasy sports betting (DFS) scandal, the two companies have maintained their business directions, continuing operations in 44 U.S. states.  On Monday October 19, 2015, however, DraftKings confirmed that it hired former Massachusetts attorney General Martha Coakley as an outside legal advisor on legislative and regulatory matters. Massachusetts is a state that, in the opinion of many legal commentators, is firmly supportive of DFS operations as they currently operate.  Coakley was the attorney general for Massachusetts in 2011…
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Bookie Pleads Guilty to Extorting Thomas Vanek

The second bookie involved in a Rochester, NY gambling ring pled guilty to illegal gambling, extortion, and money laundering conspiracies on December 5, 2014.  In his plea, Joseph Ruff, admitted to extorting Thomas Vanek for partial payment of Vanek’s gambling debts.  The plea comes months after Joseph’s brother Mark pled guilty in October. The gambling ring was based out of a Rochester restaurant called Marina Restaurant & Bar but operated through the internet.  However, after the April 2014 indictment of three men, including Ruff and…
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Cheaters Never Win? Borgata Sues Poker Pro Ivey for Alleging Edging His Way to $9.6M

The Atlantic City-based Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is suing professional poker player Phil Ivey for allegedly cheating his way to over $9 million dollars in gambling earnings.  In brief, the Borgata accuses Ivey of noticing defects in the cards and using those observations to give him an advantage over the casino in a baccarat session back in 2009. The lawsuit states that Ivey used a technique known as “edge sorting” to cheat the house out of millions.  Allegedly, once Ivey and his co-conspirator Cheng…
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Are March Madness Office Pools Legal?

Brace yourselves, employers: March Madness is upon us. Thursday, March 20, is the first full day of the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division I Basketball Championship Tournament games, and the tourney does not conclude until the Championship Game on Monday, April 7, in Arlington, Texas. During the tournament’s three weeks, the United States economy will lose an estimated $1.2 billion in productivity as employees watch early round games, participate in office pools, and discuss the outcomes with co-workers. (Fantasy sports activity in…
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High Crimes on the Golf Course?

On February 8, golfers at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course were issued a stern warning by club general manager Chuck Winship upon entering the clubhouse: betting on league play was no longer allowed.  Apparently, Winship was under investigation by the Tarpon Springs Police Department for permitting casual gambling by club members.  Commenting on the investigation, Winship noted, “Originally . . . I thought it was a joke.”  It wasn’t, however – Winship later learned that the investigation had been passed on to the Pinellas-Pasco State…
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New Jersey’s Sports Betting Law Is Dealt Another Blow

New Jersey’s wager to legalize sports gambling was struck down by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On September 17, 2013, the federal court ruled that New Jersey’s betting law conflicts with the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA restricts sports betting in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed the sports-betting law in January 2012. The law permits betting on professional and college sports at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos. Bets would…
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