A Blog About Online Gaming and Entertainment Regulations
Ifrah Law: 10 Years in the Online Gaming and Sports Betting Industry
As Ifrah Law celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we are pleased with the recent legal breakthroughs that have the potential to bring online interactive gaming into the U.S. mainstream, where it can create jobs and offer a secure, exciting experience for adults nationwide.
For our firm’s founder, Jeff Ifrah, a passion for advancing online gaming was kindled in 1999, when as a member of a BigLaw firm he began representing clients who sought to build online gaming businesses in the United States. Throughout the next decade, Jeff was among a handful of litigators who fought to establish precedent in this nascent area of law. His belief in the internet’s capacity to provide a satisfying, virtual gaming experience grew ever-stronger, even though prospects for favorable federal legislation dimmed in 2006 (with UIGEA’s passage) and suffered severe blows in 2010 (when efforts to pass a federal regulatory scheme failed).
By 2009, Jeff had formed a new law firm in Washington, D.C., and intensified his efforts to build the case for legalization of online and sports betting in the United States, with a focus on state-level legislation. By 2013, it appeared that legalization of online gambling in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey might create a ripple effect nationwide. But, over the next two years, no significant state-level online gaming laws were advanced.
Jeff determined that moving online gaming forward required a two-pronged strategy: first, harness the combined influence of key industry stakeholders and, second, select one state – New Jersey – to serve as the proof-of-concept that would move the nation. In 2016, Jeff Ifrah formed iDEA Growth, which helped to align 25 online entertainment companies behind a positive, pro-jobs agenda. On behalf of iDEA, Jeff submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Murphy v. NCAA, which in May 2018 was decided in favor of iDEA’s argument – and represented a victorious “shot heard round the world” for online gaming advocates nationally.
In the next 10 years, Jeff predicts that more states will allow companies to offer online sports betting, and that subsequently these companies will seek to seize cross-selling opportunities by adding poker and casino offerings. All of these trends, in the long term, will create an entirely new market, with enormous scalable business opportunities for operators, inventors, innovators, and the fulfillment of Jeff’s vision of the creation of an exciting, virtual gaming and entertainment world that is within everyone’s reach.
Download our newly updated eBook – “The Definitive Guide to Online Gaming and Betting in the U.S.”