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Jeff Ifrah Poses Three Arguments Against Bad Actor Provisions in Illinois Gaming Legislation

As Illinois gears up to pass online gaming legislation, the debate to include “Bad Actor” provisions is taking full effect. The inclusion of a “Bad Actor” provision prohibits certain operators who have violated existing gaming law from applying for an online gaming license. Illinois’ established racetracks and casinos are pushing for the legislation as way to even the playing field against Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitors such as FanDuel and Draft Kings.

In an Online Poker Report article, published by Steven Ruddock on April 24th, 2019, attorney Jeff Ifrah states: “Bad actor arguments are always targeted at specific companies. In poker, it was PokerStars, in DFS its DraftKings and FanDuel,”. “Suitability is about good character, honesty, integrity and financial well-being. These are roles for regulators to investigate free of political pressures.”

Jeff also offers three legal arguments against the legality of Bad Actor provisions:

  • Bill of Attainder. Article I, Section 9 of the constitution prohibits a legislative determination of guilt and the imposition of punishment without a trial.
  • Due Process. Similar to above, there must be due process prior to assuming criminal behavior and imposing punishment.
  • Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment. The government generally cannot restrict how property can be used. There are of course exceptions to this, but they may not apply here.

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