A. Jeff Ifrah
"I defend executives and companies against high-stakes claims or actions that could take them out of the US iGaming marketplace."
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 in Chambers Global Gaming Guide and is the only attorney ranked in Band 1 nationally by Chambers USA, which states 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 is widely recognized for his legal excellence. He has been recognized for eleven years by Chambers USA, nationally ranked in Gaming & Licensing Law and as one of America’s leading lawyers for litigation in the areas of White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations. His recognition by Chambers includes this observation: “Jeff Ifrah is adept at representing clients facing a wide range of allegations and offers notable additional expertise in gaming law and cryptocurrency-related issues.” A client reference added that Jeff is “a great negotiator.” He 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
- Chambers Global, Gaming & Gambling, 2023
- Chambers USA, Gaming & Licensing (Band 1: Nationwide), 2015 – 2023
- Chambers USA, White Collar Crime and Government Investigations (Washington, DC), 2011 – 2023
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- The Gaming Intelligence HOT 50 2020
Feb 15, 2024
Fast-Paced, Multi-Pronged Partnership Deal Lets London Financial Giant Access U.S. iGaming Market
Jan 10, 2024
Cross-Border Acquisition Helps Canadian Firm Gain Traction in U.S. iGaming Markets
Nov 20, 2023
iGaming Company Takes on State Licensing Commission’s Rejection – Achieves Rare Victory
Oct 8, 2019
Ifrah Law’s “The Definitive Guide to Online Gaming and Betting in the U.S.” is Available for Download
Turning the Tables on Fraudulent Direct Marketing Tactics
When an Internet retailer of consumer products discovered fraud by the direct marketing agency it had retained to promote its products online, Ifrah PLLC helped the retailer turn the tables.
Although the direct marketing agency, or affiliate network, agreed to craft a marketing campaign that complied with all advertising and consumer protection laws, it failed to do so. The network drove millions of leads to the retailer, a substantial number of those turned out to be from webpages containing claims the retailer did not approve.
This resulted in a substantial loss of advertising dollars for our client, the possible loss of good will among its customers, and exposure to state and federal consumer protection claims.
After we advised the retailer to stop paying the affiliate network, it filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in federal court in California seeking $2.5 million in damages. We responded by filing a countersuit for the non-compliant webpages.
In our analysis of the lawsuit, we discovered a legal flaw in the agency’s case that would require the court to dismiss it. Rather than immediately attempt to litigate this issue, we contacted the agency’s lawyers and gave them several opportunities to withdraw the case voluntarily.
When the agency ignored our invitation, we filed a motion to dismiss its lawsuit based on the flawed filings. The judge not only granted our motion, but he also chastised the agency for ignoring our invitations to resolve this without involving the court.
Because our litigation of the motion unnecessarily required our client to incur legal fees, we then filed a request that the judge order the agency to pay our client’s fees. Just as vigorously as it had fought our first motion, the agency fought that request. The judge awarded our client legal fees not only for the motion to dismiss, but also for having to fight its fee request.
In the end, we resolved the dispute in an out-of-court settlement on terms favorable to our client.
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Delivering a One-Two Punch to Simultaneous Gambling-Loss Recovery Cases
A plaintiff’s law firm brought two gambling-loss recovery cases against our client, Amaya, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The first case addressed alleged gambling losses sustained as a result of playing on the PokerStars website. Additionally, our client was implicated in a second case that named Rational FT, which the client acquired when the client purchased Full Tilt Poker (FTP).
Both cases were instituted by a third-party – the mothers of players who allegedly suffered these losses. And in both instances, the courts ruled in favor of our clients after Ifrah won numerous motions that caused the defendants to amend their ultimately unsuccessful complaints.
After nearly three years, the judge brought finality to these proceedings by granting Ifrah’s last-filed motions to dismiss (which had been pending since mid-2014) and ordering the dismissal of both cases with prejudice. The judge’s orders in both cases were nearly identical. The cases were affirmed on appeal.
(Sonnenberg v. Oldford Group, Ltd., Rational Entertainment Enterprises, Ltd., Case No. 3:13-cv-00344-DRH (U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois))
(Fahrner v. Bitar et al, Case No. 3:13-cv-00227 (U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois))
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Leading a First-of-its-Kind Battle to Block the Seizure of Domain Names
When the state of Kentucky tried to seize the domain names of 141 internet gambling sites, alleging they were in violation of its gambling laws, the Interactive Gaming Council hired Ifrah Law to represent 61 impacted owners. The state’s suit was the first of its kind anywhere and threatened severe consequences for both Internet commerce and civil liberties.
Ifrah Law persuaded the Kentucky Court of Appeals that the judge ordering the seizure had exceeded his jurisdiction and that the seizures should be blocked.
On appeal, we continued to fight the forfeiture over such novel legal questions as whether a domain name can be considered a gambling device or property subject to seizure.
The Supreme Court ruled that the case was not properly before it due to a legal technicality, and the litigation was eventually abandoned by the plaintiff’s lawyers.
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