A. Jeff Ifrah

FOUNDING MEMBER

"I defend executives and companies against high-stakes claims or actions that could take them out of the US iGaming marketplace."

Overview

Jeff Ifrah’s legal skills and record of success have earned him international recognition as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer and litigator. He is an advocate keenly focused on delivering results for his clients – on understanding the problems they face and developing innovative strategies to resolve them.

Considered one of the world’s foremost attorneys in Online Gaming Law, Jeff is ranked as a Global Market Leader in Chambers & Partners’ Global Gaming Guide. He is also ranked in Band 1 for Gaming & Licensing Law (USA-Nationwide) in Chambers USA, which notes that he “is well known for handling regulatory and litigation matters in the online gaming and sports betting space. His client list includes international operators of mobile betting platforms, as well as US-based groups.” During their research process, a client told Chambers, “Jeff Ifrah is second to none when it comes to online gaming and sports betting; his legal and business insights are invaluable,” and another said, “Jeff is a standout lawyer. He knows the industry and he’s an effective advocate.” Ifrah Law has been at the center of most of the important prosecutions and lawsuits in the iGaming industry.

Jeff leverages his decades of experience in betting and wagering law to advise startups in the eSports space, including both real money and skill-based p2p competition sites, on compliance with both state and federal law. His clients in the sports betting arena include FanDuel, Delaware North, Sportradar, Bet365, Playtech, and Worldpay. Jeff and his team have also gained a strong reputation in other related internet-based industries such as payment processing and money transmission.

Of special importance to the gaming community is Jeff’s role in founding iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), a non-profit association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the U.S. through advocacy and education. Members include Golden Nugget, 888, Entain, DraftKings, PaySafe, PointsBet, and Scientific Games, among others. On behalf of iDEA, Ifrah Law submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the seminal sports betting case Murphy v. NCAA, which was decided in favor of iDEA’s argument urging the rights of states to direct their own economies.

Jeff cut his teeth as a trial lawyer and officer in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as trial counsel to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth. He then gained invaluable experience as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey.

He went on to become of counsel to the global law firm Paul Hastings and then a shareholder in the litigation department of another global firm, Greenberg Traurig. Often litigating cases against the federal government, he achieved a string of victories in cases involving criminal and civil antitrust laws, securities laws and the Civil False Claims Act. He defended some of the most well-known businesses in the country in industries such as pharmaceuticals, health care and technology.

Jeff serves as an Adjunct Professor for the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law’s “Advanced Regulation of Sports Betting” course; the first-ever law school certificate program dedicated to the regulatory and legal aspects of sports wagering law and integrity issues.

He is also active in the publishing arena: he currently serves on the editorial and advisory board of Online Gambling Lawyer. His commentary has been featured in national media like The Baltimore Sun, and he is a frequent speaker at industry events around the world like the Esports Bar Association Convention.  A leading national authority in federal sentencing laws, Jeff is co-author of Federal Sentencing for Business Crimes, the only comprehensive treatise on federal sentencing in the context of business and white-collar crimes.

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Awards + Recognitions

Benchmark Litigation Award - Litigation Star 2024
GI Hot 50 Award Logo
Trailblazers Award Logo
  • Chambers Global, Gaming & Gambling, 2024
  • Chambers USA, Gaming & Licensing (Band 1: Nationwide), 2015 – 2024
  • Chambers USA, White Collar Crime and Government Investigations (Washington, DC), 2011 – 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star: White Collar Crime (USA National; Washington, DC), 2015-2024
  • Gaming Intelligence Magazine, Hot 50 List, 2012; 2020
  • National Law Journal, Sports & Entertainment Trailblazers, 2019
  • National Law Journal, Litigation Trailblazers, 2015
  • Nightingale’s Healthcare News, Outstanding Fraud and Compliance Lawyer, May 2006
  • "Expert News Source", Corporate Governance and Securities, and Health Care/Pharmaceutical, LexisNexis
  • Meritorious Service Award, U.S. Army
  • DOD, Holds Top Secret Clearance

Credentials

Education
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, J.D. - Symposium editor for the Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal
  • Yeshiva University, M.A., Medieval History
  • Yeshiva University, B.A., Political Science and Sociology

Admitted to Practice
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Previous Experience
  • Greenberg Traurig, Partner
  • Paul Hastings, Of Counsel
  • Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey
  • Trial Counsel, Communications-Electronics Command and Fort Monmouth
  • JAG Officer, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army

Professional Community
  • Founding Member, iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA)
  • Adjunct Professor, UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
  • Member, UNLV Gaming Law Journal Advisory Board
  • Member, Online Gambling Lawyer Editorial Board
  • Member, ABA Criminal Justice Section
  • Member, International Masters of Gaming Law

Languages
  • French
  • Hebrew

Jeff's Insights

Investment Giant Clears State Regs, Gains Major iGaming Equity Stake
Ifrah on iGaming |
Mar 4, 2024

Investment Giant Clears State Regs, Gains Major iGaming Equity Stake

By: Jeff Ifrah
Fast-Paced, Multi-Pronged Partnership Deal Lets London Financial Giant Access U.S. iGaming Market
Ifrah on iGaming |
Feb 15, 2024

Fast-Paced, Multi-Pronged Partnership Deal Lets London Financial Giant Access U.S. iGaming Market

By: Jeff Ifrah
Cross-Border Acquisition Helps Canadian Firm Gain Traction in U.S. iGaming Markets
Ifrah on iGaming |
Jan 10, 2024

Cross-Border Acquisition Helps Canadian Firm Gain Traction in U.S. iGaming Markets

By: Jeff Ifrah
iGaming Company Takes on State Licensing Commission’s Rejection – Achieves Rare Victory
Ifrah on iGaming |
Nov 20, 2023

iGaming Company Takes on State Licensing Commission’s Rejection – Achieves Rare Victory

By: Jeff Ifrah

Case Studies

Preparing License Application to Become Registered Casino Service Industry Enterprise

Ifrah Law prepared the license application for Ezugi to become a registered Casino Service Industry Enterprise in New Jersey. We have worked extensively on representing the client in negotiations with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to address Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) concerns, obtain approval of the application, and to receive transactional waivers for continued operations. The firm also represents Ezugi on its corporate transactions and revenue share agreements with multiple casinos. Ezugi was the first operator after regulation to offer a “virtual” live dealer where remote players watch and play poker
online while they view a real casino table and dealer. This innovative and cutting-edge work has resulted in our client partnering with the Golden Nugget Casino and its counsel, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP.

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Ifrah Law Achieves Swift Removal of Payment Processing Client from OFAC List in Highly Unusual Government Action

In September 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it had designated Ifrah Law’s client, a legitimate international business, as a transnational criminal organization. Our client had conducted its business for decades without incident, providing payment processing solutions for direct mail, eCommerce, gaming, charitable, and other customers.

The OFAC designation of a legitimate business was the first of its kind, having been previously limited to terrorist and organized crime entities, such as the Yakuza, MS-13, and Saddam Hussein. The designation indicated that OFAC was expanding its authority under its legal mandate. Given the novelty of this designation, the company contacted Ifrah Law based on our background and extensive experience representing payment processors: understanding their business was critical to our ability to combat the Government’s misperceptions about the payment processing business.

First, we began an internal investigation. As the OFAC designation was a surprise to the company, and the Treasury Department had no obligation to explain the basis for the designation, we needed to determine why our client had been targeted.

We also needed to address the reverberating effects of the designation on our client. An OFAC designation results in the prohibition of U.S.-based businesses including banks from working with a designee. Our client lost the ability to pay employees, vendors, and general expenses and eventually was forced to close its operations.

Ifrah Law achieved some of the swiftest ever removals from OFAC’s SDN list, including all of the 12 individuals named. One year after the initial listing, OFAC finally signed an agreement to remove our client’s companies, officers and employees from the SDN List. We continue to represent this client in actions concerning the financial situation of the now defunct company, and to ameliorate the damage caused by the listing on both individual and corporate reputations. Our work on this case was featured in The American Lawyer.

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Upholding the Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

As Jae Shik Kim was departing the U.S. from Los Angeles International Airport, a Department of Homeland Security agent confiscated his personal laptop. Following the seizure, and a review of data it found on the laptop, the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that our client was involved in a conspiracy to evade U.S. trade restrictions on Iran. Our team acted quickly and strategically to clear Mr. Kim and uphold the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unwarranted searches and seizures.

We filed a motion to suppress any supposed evidence gleaned from the laptop on the grounds that the seizure was illegal. The DOJ argued that a laptop was similar to any other container that could be searched at the border without a warrant. The judge rejected prosecutors’ arguments. As a result of our successful motion, the government was forced to abandon its case and we secured a victory against the DOJ. In this matter, it was shown that the government was searching for evidence of a crime committed years earlier and there was no suspicion of current illegal activity.

With the judge’s ruling, a strong statement has been sent to the government. This type of intrusion concerning our personal electronic devices without the proper documentation will not be tolerated. Further, the Fourth Amendment has been upheld, and the government has been warned against attempting to use its power at U.S. borders to circumvent basic rights.

(United States of America vs. Jae Shik Kim, Karham Eng. Corp., Crim. Action No. 13-0100)

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