Posts Tagged ‘International Masters of Gaming Law’

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

by , Nov 2, 2010 | 1:40 pm

I’ve returned from Spain after attempting to live-tweet a very informative conference with some great minds on the forefront of gaming law. Here’s a look at some important legal developments from @GamingCounsel over the past week …

  1. American Midterm Shuffles – Today, everyone is thinking about the US elections. Are the pundits right? Are the Democrats headed for heavy losses? Will Harry Reid prevail in Nevada? What does it all mean for Internet gaming, specifically for poker? Whatever happens today, the trend towards legalizing and regulating Internet gaming will continue in the United States. The focus may move to the state level – although some are saying that a new Reid bill could  be passed before the end of the lame duck Congressional session on December 31st – and, if Senator Reid loses (which is unlikely), things may be slowed down. However, the push for poker by many interested groups is too big for one person or one election to derail entirely. Some see today as crucial to the industry (see: Offshore Gaming Association); taking the long view, however, I’m a bit more sanguine.
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  3. Kentucky vs. Microgaming – Things always seem to be developing in the Kentucky domain name seizure matter. Several weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Kentucky denied the writs of IMEGA and the IGC, sending the questions of standing and jurisdiction back to the Franklin Circuit Court (that was only a waste of 6 months); recently the Commonwealth added Microgaming to its list of defendants in the separate but related suit against Pocket Kings (FullTilt Poker) and PartyGaming for damages. Kentucky is seeking to recover triple the amount of losses of those located within Kentucky against these three “and unknown defendants. [EGR Magazine]
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  5. New Bank Seizures – Circumstances continue to challenge those servicing the US-facing Internet poker market. In Seattle, federal prosecutors have sought to cause the funds of Secure Money Inc. (a payment processor based in Canada) to be turned over to the US government. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
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  7. Boyd Gaming Fundraisers – On October 26th, Boyd Gaming Corporation announced that it’s seeking to raise $500M through 8 year senior notes in a private placement. The bonds will be guaranteed by certain Boyd subsidiaries. Boyd will use the funds to pay off existing debt. This continues the recent trend of gaming companies reaching out to the broader markets (some through IPOs – see Betfair) to raise funds. [Boyd Gaming]
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  9. IMGL Conference Summary – The International Masters of Gaming Law had their fall conference in Madrid last week. It was a great series of sessions and contained lots of stories and gossip (lawyers are as bad as judges and schoolgirls for thriving on gossip). Snippets on the US: rumours about Harry Reid working on his own poker regulation/tax bill; predictions about New Jersey and Florida being the most likely to pass intra-state gaming bills among the states; and, forecasting that current US-facing operators will still have a significant role to play post-US regulation. [Gaming Law Masters]

Barrister Stuart Hoegner is an expert but not quite a “master” in international gaming law whom you can follow regularly @GamingCounsel.


GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

by , Oct 26, 2010 | 1:22 am

Here’s @GamingCounsel‘s look at the important legal developments in gaming over the past ten days or so:

  1. Crespo v. Online Poker – Interesting complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division filed on October 12th. In a nutshell: A resident of Florida named Scott Crespo, who may or may not play poker online (there’s no indication from the complaint that he does or not), is suing residents of Illinois under an Illinois statute for money they purportedly won from other online poker players who may or may not be residents of Illinois. Oh, and Crespo apparently didn’t lose any money. He wants triple the amount of the unclaimed “losses” of others accruing to the defendants. Illinois was chosen because it’s one of a handful of states that have third party recovery statutes. As a gaming attorney I know in the US put it: We have way too many lawyers with nothing productive to do. [US District Court]
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  3. Betfair IPO Numbers – The Betfair IPO seemed to hit the top end of what analysts were predicting as the company’s market capitalization. Betfair was valued at £1.4 billion on flotation. Fully £200 million was raised on the IPO. [Herald Scotland]
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  5. Harrah’s IPO Imminent – More news from the public markets: Harrah’s is heading back to the public marketplace with an estimated $575 million offering. The money is likely to be used for new casino projects in Las Vegas and Ohio, not to pay down debt. We’ll have to wait and see how this offering fares, but there are definitely challenges ahead. [Wall Street Journal]
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  7. Canadian I-Gaming Split – While certain provinces are keen to enter the interactive gaming market, others are throwing cold water on the idea. Ontario and Quebec have announced that they’re coming out with online offerings; British Columbia already offers an online experience at www.playnow.com. However, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island recently announced that they’re not comfortable with participating in Internet gambling at this point. These latter three provinces are small – PEI is the smallest province in Canada, both geographically and in terms of population – but, interestingly, they’re part of the Atlantic Lotteries Corporation, which is working with BC and Quebec on sharing liquidity on a common Internet poker platform. [Globe and Mail; CBC]
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  9. IMGL Conference in Madrid – The International Masters of Gaming Law is the pre-eminent organization for gaming attorneys and other gaming experts. Their Fall conference is on from October 24th-26th in Madrid and, as usual, it’s an interesting lineup and series of sessions. I’ll be tweeting on different panels and speakers throughout the conference; check out my tweet stream if you’re interested. [Gaming Law Masters]