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A Blog About Online Gaming and Entertainment Regulations

The lawsuits against Valve Corporation are continuing their tortured procedural paths from various federal courts to state court and back again. After filing a complaint against Valve and several co-defendants in federal court, the case was ultimately dismissed. Not dissuaded, the plaintiffs refiled against Valve in state court, in King County, Washington. Yet, as of December 2016, the case is back in federal court. After months of procedural wrangling, do these plaintiffs stand a chance? Initially, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit in Connecticut. See McLeod v. Valve Corp., Case No. 16-cv-01018 (D.Conn. June 28, 2016). The plaintiffs made claims of racketeering, illegal gambling, and unjust enrichment. Before reaching any of the merits, Valve persuaded plaintiffs and the court that the proper forum for the suit was its home state of Washington. Accordingly, the case was dismissed and refiled in Washington federal court. McLeod et al. v. Valve Corp., Case No. 16-cv-1227-JCC (W.D.Wash., Aug. 4, 2016). The claims and substance of the complaint remained the same. Once in... Read more

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) regulates various licensees that provide services to the online gaming industry within the state. The agency recently demonstrated its power of regulatory enforcement over the online gaming industry and its unique ability to protect consumers with its recent discovery that a licensee may have provided US residents with access… Read More

Shutting the Valve on Skin Betting
October 26, 2016

Shutting the Valve on Skin Betting

By: Nicole Kardell

A tried and true military strategy is to cut off your enemy’s supply lines: blow up a bridge and force a retreat. The tactic works in other situations too. It is regularly used by legislators and government agencies to address what they view as problem behavior from a particular industry. Instead of targeting the industry,… Read More

On September 26, 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they had acquired two leading eSports teams, Team Dignitas and Team Apex. Not to be outdone, the next day Team Liquid announced they had sold a controlling share to Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and entrepreneur Ted Leonsis, who is the majority owner of the… Read More

A Bank is a Bank
August 15, 2016

A Bank is a Bank

By: Steven Eichorn

Do you remember when I wrote about how a federal district court had ruled that an online poker account was akin to a bank account and should therefore be subject to FBAR reporting? It seemed nonsense to me at the time—and I also worried about whether the court’s expanded definition of a “financial institution” would… Read More

We are living in a virtual (or perhaps “augmented”) Pokémon explosion. You can’t get away from news of public craze over Pokémon Go. Players young and youngish have made the game today’s most popular app, outpacing Twitter and Tinder download rates. In less than ten days from its release, estimates are that almost 26 million… Read More

*photo obtained from https://gameora.tumblr.com/ In light of unprecedented controversy over the legality of “skin betting” and eSports gambling, Jeff Ifrah and two other attorneys took to Reddit to answer questions from players, fans, and professionals. Together with Bryce Blum and Ryan Morrison, Ifrah participated in an AUA (“Ask Us Anything”) thread on July 5, 2016—just… Read More

Eric Schneiderman’s Losing Lineup
June 27, 2016

Eric Schneiderman’s Losing Lineup

By: Jeff Ifrah

Defenders of DFS like to point out that it is skill-predominant. If the same can be said for public prosecution, then New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been fielding one hell of a losing lineup. Between the two of them, DraftKings and FanDuel dominated the DFS space, and they still did after Schneiderman dumped… Read More

How the Gray Bill Tries to Keep Out Bad Actors
May 24, 2016

How the Gray Bill Tries to Keep Out Bad Actors

By: Steven Eichorn

The iGaming world is excited about Assembly Bill 2863—better known as the Gray bill because of lead sponsor Adam Gray—which would legalize and regulate intrastate online poker in California. A few weeks ago, the bill unanimously cleared the Assembly’s Governmental Organization Committee; now it looks set to clear the Appropriations Committee as well. Those are… Read More

It’s a familiar sight: rows of men and women, on a bus or a subway, hands and eyes glued to their phones. But they’re not talking or texting or e-mailing. They are playing slots, though not for real money. This is the world of social casino – the subgenre of social gaming featuring casino-style games… Read More

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