Online Gaming & Entertainment

Overview

At the intersection of interactive gaming and government regulation, one law firm stands out.

Ifrah Law has represented iGaming clients since the inception of the industry, and now represents many of the largest iGaming companies and industry associations around the world. We have been at the center of most of the important prosecutions and lawsuits in the iGaming industry: our clients include the online poker sites Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, for whom Jeff Ifrah negotiated a historic agreement in 2011 with the Department of Justice which paved the way for iGaming in the United States. Ifrah Law was also instrumental in the creation of the legislative and regulatory frameworks in the three states which currently permit online gaming: Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.

Two characteristics uniquely qualify Ifrah Law to represent iGaming companies:

  • Our substantial experience in both criminal defense and civil litigation. This is invaluable because even civil cases can expose iGaming companies to criminal prosecution. We are litigators who know the risks and how to avoid them.
  • Our knowledge of the iGaming industry and the people who work in it. We are a firm of lawyers who share a passion for understanding our clients and their businesses. Through our representation of iGaming businesses since the industry’s beginnings, we have acquired an in-depth understanding which is key to our ability to craft solutions that meet our client’s goals.

Jeff Ifrah and his team advise online casino operators, poker and fantasy sports sites, and payment processors on class action lawsuits, mergers and acquisitions, vendor and supplier issues, government investigations and criminal matters. We also serve as Special Internet Counsel for the Delaware State Lottery. The firm is known for representing clients in cases involving progressive areas of the gaming industry, such as sports betting, social gaming, skins betting, iGaming, online sweepstakes and lotteries, peer-to-peer betting and mobile gaming.

Our firm is a founding member of iDEA (iDevelopment and Economic Association), an association which seeks to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education.

Ifrah Law publishes the blog, Ifrah on iGaming and maintains a timely white paper entitled, “The Definitive Guide to iGaming in the United States” (available for download here), a comprehensive overview of iGaming legislation and business opportunities. The firm has been honored by industry associations such as eGaming Review for its innovation, excellence, and dedication to best practices, and Jeff Ifrah frequently presents on issues pertaining to iGaming law for organizations like the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), and the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA).

Fantasy Sports, Esports, & Sports Betting

Fantasy sports and esports are currently in the process of being legally defined in the United States, with legislative attention mainly focused on the gambling and betting aspects of these games. However, companies in this sphere also face challenges in the areas of finance, immigration, cyber security, business law, advertising, and underage play.

Ifrah Law has provided guidance to operators, players, publishers, and developers on all of these subjects, in addition to matters involving competitive integrity and customer protection; contracting for players, teams, and sponsorships; and player organization and regulation.

 

Publications + Presentations
July 27, 2017 | Presentation

15 years of SIGHT: Achieving policy goals in regulating online gambling

How experiences in regulation and operation of online gambling in the USA can help state governments ensure advancement of public policy goals.

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October/November 2016 | Publication

The DGE-KGC Agreement

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October 25, 2016 | Presentation

Bringing Esports to the Casino Floor

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February/March 2016 | Publication

NY Poker: Back In The Game

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April/May 2016 | Publication

Scoring Cash With Angry Birds?

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October/November 2015 | Publication

The Path Ahead In 2015-16

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June 2015 | Publication

The Big Debate

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Case Studies

Obtaining Dismissal of Fraud Claims Against Online Gambling

In the first class action suit brought by former U.S. poker players, Ifrah Law went all in and won a big pot on behalf of an online poker company and individual poker pros that were defendants.

The suit involved complex fraud issues arising out of claims of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations. These issues resulted from the plaintiff’s demand for return of U.S. player funds held in online gambler accounts after Black Friday. On that day in 2011, the U.S. government shut down the three most popular online poker sites. More than two million citizens were playing our national card game online, and they were confronted by the seals of the FBI and Department of Justice and a notice of domain name seizure as well as blocked access to each player’s account balance.

The lawsuit demanded return of plaintiff’s money under a conversion claim, and also accused the defendants of racketeering, which would have entitled the plaintiffs to three times the damages owed.

In a closely watched argument in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ifrah Law held all the right cards and won a dismissal of all claims against the poker pro defendants, as well as all RICO claims against the corporate defendants. The judge’s order was a big win for the individual defendants in this case, but also a victory for individual defendants in other class action cases pending in New York.

(Segal et al v Bitar et al. 1:11-cv-04521-LBS (S.D.N.Y.))

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))

Ifrah Law Wins Dismissal In PokerStars Class Action

When faced with an attempted class action in the plaintiff-friendly Southern District of Illinois, PokerStars turned to Ifrah Law to defend them. Not only did this case pose the risk of a multi-million dollar hit to PokerStars, but a money judgment would have opened the door for related class actions against online poker operators offering services without a license.

The plaintiffs filed the suit under the Illinois Loss Recovery Act, which allows individuals to collect losses on behalf of third parties, providing third parties fail to make their own claim within six months of losing the wager. Ifrah successfully argued that PokerStars was not liable. The court agreed with Ifrah, stating that PokerStars served as a third part service provider – only providing the forum for others to play and does not have stake decided in how the game plays out.

The Judge’s decision in this case was monumental for the online gaming industry and likely closed the door on future class actions against PokerStars. Further, this case provides precedent for other class actions that may arise against online gaming operators.

(Kelly Sonnenberg v. Oldford Group, Ltd., and Rational Entertainment Enterprises, Ltd. (No. 13-0344-Drh) (S.D. Il.))

Leading a First-of-its-Kind Battle to Block the Seizure of Domain Names

When the state of Kentucky went to court to try to seize the domain names of 141 Internet gambling sites, it was a shot across the bow of Internet companies around the world. If the state’s lawsuit – the first of its kind anywhere – was successful in bringing about the forfeiture of the domain names, the consequences would be severe for both Internet commerce and civil liberties.

At an initial court hearing attended only by the state’s lawyers, without notice to the owners of the domain names, the judge concluded that the websites were violating Kentucky’s gambling laws. The judge ordered the domains to be seized and their ownership transferred to the state.

When it got word of what happened, the Interactive Gaming Council – the organization that represented the owners of 61 of the domain names at issue in the case – turned to Jeff Ifrah for help. As a host of other organizations – including trade associations and civil liberties groups – mobilized to join in fighting the judge’s order, Jeff became lead counsel, coordinating the legal challenge to the seizures.

Not surprisingly, the judge turned down their request that he reverse his own order. Convinced the order was unlawful, Jeff led the defense team in taking the case to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. There, Jeff persuaded the Court of Appeals to rule that the judge exceeded his jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals ordered that the seizures be blocked.

The state appealed that ruling to the Kentucky Supreme Court, where Jeff continued to fight the forfeiture. The appeal raised significant legal issues never before decided by the court, including whether a domain name can be considered property that is subject to seizure under Kentucky law and whether a domain name can be considered a gambling device under the law.

In the end, the Supreme Court sidestepped these important questions. Instead, it ruled that the case was not properly before it because of a legal technicality. But the end of the appeal was not the end of the case. Litigation continues with Kentucky state officials. While the final outcome of the case remains to be seen, its significance will be felt throughout the Internet gaming industry.

(Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. J. Michael Brown, Secretary, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet v. 141 Internet Domain Names – Civil Action No.: 08-CI-1409 (Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin Circuit Court, Division II))

Obtaining an Historic Settlement with the Department of Justice

When the U.S. government seizes assets and funds, they are normally not very sympathetic or predisposed to giving any of it back. But in a case against a payment processing company, federal authorities in Maryland seized over $2 million of alleged
illegal proceeds in connection with investigation of illegal sports betting – and Ifrah Law helped get half of it back.

In claiming it was a front for the gambling industry, the Department of Justice was very aggressive in seizing the payment processor’s assets in California. But Ifrah law conducted a very precise forensic investigation and demonstrated to the government
that over 50 percent of the company’s proceeds were from legal, legitimate sources. We successfully argued that the scope of the seizure was overly broad.

In a result that is still turning heads in the legal industry, Ifrah Law obtained the first settlement on record where the Department of Justice agreed to refund over $1 million of proceeds that were initially represented to Court as illegal proceeds.

(United States v. Contents of Various Accounts, etc., Case No. CCB-10-774 (U.S. District Court, District of Maryland))

Successfully Negotiating a $60 Million Sale of iGaming Websites

Ifrah Law helped our client profitably exit its strong position in the lead generation market within iGaming through a sale of websites and other affiliate related assets from the US-based founders in a transaction worth up to $60 million.

The acquisition included generated revenues from licensed operators in the regulated casino and poker markets in the states of New Jersey and Nevada, plus a range of other assets which are expected to generate significant revenues as other US states re-regulate iGaming. It positions the buyer to become the largest regulated casino affiliate in the US, and to take advantage of further re-regulation in what has the potential to become the world’s largest iGaming market.

Currently the US market represents approximately 20 percent of the total online Casino market. Some states have reregulated to permit online games, such as Nevada (poker), Delaware (all game types) and New Jersey (all game types), and initiatives are underway to re-regulate in other states.

Representing an Online Poker Operator in Nevada Federal Court

When a leading online poker company was sued in Nevada by a prominent poker professional and former company endorser, the company put all their chips on the experience of Ifrah Law.

The plaintiff was one of the first women to place highly in a poker tournament. She claimed that during the online company’s early years she was offered a one percent ownership in the firm in exchange for her promotional efforts as a “celebrity player.”

She also claimed that the ownership stake was worth $100,000 a month for every month that the company was making distributions. She sued for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and fraud. Her attorneys estimated damages to be $40 million, with the additional possibility of punitive damages.

Ifrah Law won a dismissal in the trial – and won three more move to dismiss orders in subsequent actions. The initial motion to dismiss contained allegations that the player’s “typhoon of litigation” was fueled by a “thirst for publicity.”

(Cycalona Gowen v. Tiltware LLC, et al. – Case No.: 2:08-CV-01581-RCJ-RJJ (United States District Court for the District of Nevada))

Blog Posts
May 24, 2017

New Jersey Sports Gaming In Flux: State Moves to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports While Legalized Sports Betting Faces Greater Hurdles

New Jersey Sports Gaming In Flux: State Moves to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports While Legalized Sports Betting Faces Greater Hurdles

In a highly-anticipated brief by the Solicitor General, the United States argued today that the Supreme Court should not take up New Jersey’s challenge to federal laws preventing it from legalizing sports betting. Despite President Trump’s knowledge of, and seeming sympathy towards, the gaming industry, his Solicitor General claims that the “limited practical consequences of… Read More

September 7, 2017

ICOs Facing an Uncertain Future in China and the U.S.

ICOs Facing an Uncertain Future in China and the U.S.

This week, in a joint statement issued by the People’s Bank of China, the securities and banking regulators, and other government agencies, the Chinese government declared that initial coin offerings (ICOs) constitute “illegal open financing behavior” and immediately froze all ICO activity.  The joint statement explained that the tokens issued in ICOs do not have… Read More

October 3, 2017

SEC Continues to Focus on ICOs

SEC Continues to Focus on ICOs

A new enforcement initiative  by the Securities and Exchange Commission, part of its proclaimed efforts to address cyber-based threats and protect retail investors, indicates that the agency is including Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) under its broad blanket of protection. Recent actions by the agency in the case of REcoin give more clues to its position… Read More

October 4, 2017

Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Betting Case Could Level the Playing Field

Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Betting Case Could Level the Playing Field

This month Ifrah Law submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Christie v. NCAA, a pivotal case with far reaching implications for the gaming industry and state coffers across the country. The case asks whether New Jersey can offer sports betting in regulated casinos and race tracks in New Jersey. A… Read More

January 10, 2017

Skin Gambling Plaintiffs Find Themselves Back Where They Started

Skin Gambling Plaintiffs Find Themselves Back Where They Started

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… Read More

November 14, 2016

Coalition Building to Combat Unlicensed Internet Gaming Sites

Coalition Building to Combat Unlicensed Internet Gaming Sites

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

April 22, 2017

Fantasy Golf: A Hole in One

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The Masters golf tournament had quite an exciting finish this year and it also was a successful tournament for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators. As reported by Dustin Gouker: “The Masters marked the unofficial start to the daily fantasy golf season at DraftKings… the metrics for Masters contests were impressive.” Such popularity inevitably leads to… Read More

February 8, 2017

Is it a Lottery or is it Gambling? UK Regulator Slaps Lottoland for Misleading Radio Ad

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Gambling, including online gaming, lotteries, and land-based gaming, has tremendous participation in the United Kingdom.  One study concluded that 75% of the UK’s adult population gambled in some manner.  UK regulators take an aggressive approach to licensing, supervision, and enforcement of gambling laws and regulations, including gaming-related advertising.  As more U.S. states permit online gaming,… Read More

March 24, 2017

Nevermind About Internet Cafes…

Nevermind About Internet Cafes…

Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis got some good news this week: State prosecutors have decided not to retry him on more than one hundred charges for gambling-related offenses. The State brought the charges against Mathis and fifty-six co-defendants in 2011, following a state-wide investigation of “internet cafes”—businesses that sell internet time to customers, who, with their… Read More

October 26, 2016

Shutting the Valve on Skin Betting

Shutting the Valve on Skin Betting

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

October 20, 2016

An Esports Slam Dunk: What the NBA’s Investment in Esports Means

An Esports Slam Dunk: What the NBA’s Investment in Esports Means

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

August 15, 2016

A Bank is a Bank

A Bank is a Bank

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

July 19, 2016

Pokémon Go Craze: Battle, Train, Win – But No Betting

Pokémon Go Craze: Battle, Train, Win – But No Betting

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

July 14, 2016

New Concerns Over Esports Betting; Jeff Ifrah Responds

New Concerns Over Esports Betting; Jeff Ifrah Responds

*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

June 27, 2016

Eric Schneiderman’s Losing Lineup

Eric Schneiderman’s Losing Lineup

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

May 24, 2016

How the Gray Bill Tries to Keep Out Bad Actors

How the Gray Bill Tries to Keep Out Bad Actors

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

May 13, 2016

Social Casino Survives Latest “Gambling” Lawsuit

Social Casino Survives Latest “Gambling” Lawsuit

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

May 11, 2016

Monmouth Park Brings Exchange Wagering to the United States

Monmouth Park Brings Exchange Wagering to the United States

Exchange wagering—a fixed-odds variant of pari-mutuel betting—is making its U.S. debut today.  Monmouth Park, a racetrack in New Jersey, has begun offering on-site and online exchange wagering in cooperation with Betfair US. Beyond its own races, Monmouth Park has agreements for simulcast exchange wagering on ten racetracks around the country, with plans to expand the… Read More

April 19, 2016

New Jersey Issues Bulletin Clarifying Licensure Standards for Internet Gaming

New Jersey Issues Bulletin Clarifying Licensure Standards for Internet Gaming

Today, the New Jersey DGE issued a “Director’s Advisory Bulletin” clarifying how it would apply its suitability rules to gaming license applicants who conduct internet gaming in other jurisdictions.  If you offer a game that is illegal in any jurisdiction, the DGE will consider you unsuitable and bar you from the New Jersey market.  The… Read More

January 29, 2016

ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ Interviews Jeff Ifrah On The Future of Sports Betting in The U.S.

ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ Interviews Jeff Ifrah On The Future of Sports Betting in The U.S.

*Image from CalvinAyre.com Ifrah Law founding partner, Jeff Ifrah, weighed in on the battle over bets in a recent newscast for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” During the program, Jeff observed that major league sports are getting accustomed to the idea of legalized sports betting: “They are willing to recognize regulation; they’re willing to recognize the legality… Read More

February 25, 2016

Guitar Hero for Cash! New Jersey Issues Temporary Regulations for Skill-Based Gaming

Guitar Hero for Cash! New Jersey Issues Temporary Regulations for Skill-Based Gaming

Just last month at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (“NCLGS”) winter meeting in Orlando, I discussed the strong interest in skill-based games by casino owners, regulators, legislators, and the public. In an effort to appeal to millennials, fill empty slot seats, and expand the demographic at Atlantic City casinos, New Jersey’s Division of… Read More

January 26, 2016

“The Times They Are A Changin’” For New Jersey Gaming

“The Times They Are A Changin’” For New Jersey Gaming

As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It’s no secret that Atlantic City has faced its share of troubles. Gaming statewide continues to face transition, but after the dust settles, gaming in New Jersey, and even in struggling Atlantic City, should emerge stronger than ever. Following is the state of gaming… Read More

January 20, 2016

In 2016- Who Will (Finally) Say Yes To Regulated Online Gaming?

In 2016- Who Will (Finally) Say Yes To Regulated Online Gaming?

*This article first appeared in the January 2016 issue of eGR North America Magazine  Pennsylvania is the most likely, and has been making slow but relatively steady progress since it commissioned a study into online gaming back in 2014. Since then, several bills have been introduced. Efforts have stalled, but not as in other jurisdictions where… Read More

January 14, 2016

Why Can’t I Buy A Powerball Ticket Online?

Why Can’t I Buy A Powerball Ticket Online?

As a gaming lawyer, I get asked a lot of questions about what is legal and what is not legal. A lot of folks end conversations with me by scratching their heads and saying “that doesn’t make sense at all.”  The most recent head scratcher?  A lot of online sites recently offered to sell Powerball… Read More

December 14, 2015

The Ongoing Legal Saga Between New York and Daily Fantasy Sports

The Ongoing Legal Saga Between New York and Daily Fantasy Sports

Christmas didn’t come early for daily fantasy sports players in New York. A state judge issued an injunction this Friday ordering the two largest DFS sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, to shut down. The injunction was based upon the judge’s finding that DFS constituted illegal gambling under state law. Fortunately for the sites, their players, and… Read More

November 16, 2015

Sorry, NY Fantasy Sports Fans. No Play for You!

Sorry, NY Fantasy Sports Fans. No Play for You!

Daily Fantasy Sports (or DFS) offers daily excitement to millions of US sports fans, and it enjoys tremendous support from its fan base. That support was on display today in NYC, as more than 250 upset fans rallied in front of the Attorney General’s office. The rally in support of DFS was in response to… Read More

November 10, 2015

Why Virtual Gold Can’t Buy Plaintiffs Happiness

Why Virtual Gold Can’t Buy Plaintiffs Happiness

A federal court has soundly rejected a plaintiff’s contention that she suffered any real-world harm based on in-game losses of virtual currency.  In Mason v. Machine Zone, Inc., plaintiff Mia Mason alleged that she was a regular player of a free-to-play mobile game called Game of War (GoW): Fire Age.  GoW is a multiplayer online… Read More

October 1, 2015

The Return of The King

The Return of The King

PokerStars, the innovative online poker industry leader with a deeply loyal U.S. fan base, is making its highly anticipated return to the United States online gaming market.  New Jersey regulators have approved PokerStars’ parent company, Amaya, to partner with Resorts Atlantic City to offer online gaming platforms in the state through the PokerStars and Full… Read More

September 14, 2015

Five Legal Issues Your eSports Company Needs to Know About Operating in the U.S.

Five Legal Issues Your eSports Company Needs to Know About Operating in the U.S.

Photo courtesy https://outplayed.fr/  With a $143 million market in North America, eSports is big business in the U.S. And given its swift rise in popularity – 205 million people worldwide watched or played eSports in 2014, it will only become bigger. At last week’s eSports Conference, held in San Francisco September 9-10, industry leaders met… Read More

August 12, 2015

Wanted: A Quarterback for Legalization Of U.S. Sports Betting

Wanted: A Quarterback for Legalization Of U.S. Sports Betting

*This piece first appeared on the site LegalSportsReport.com on August 11, 2015 Welcome to one of the biggest business opportunities on Planet Earth: legalized sports betting in the United States, the land of the free and the home of 200 million sports fans. It hasn’t happened yet, but odds are, it will. And when it does, the… Read More

July 24, 2015

Captain Obvious Makes Landmark Ruling: Texas Hold ‘Em Is Poker

Captain Obvious Makes Landmark Ruling: Texas Hold ‘Em Is Poker

Texas Hold ‘Em is poker. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most, but the pronouncement was a serious disappointment to an Idaho casino. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Idaho-based casino could not lawfully offer Texas Hold ‘Em on its site as the game was… Read More

June 25, 2015

Another Bill to Expand the Wire Act: Bad Law Clothed in a Lie

Another Bill to Expand the Wire Act: Bad Law Clothed in a Lie

It is ironic that recent proposed legislation that would expand the scope of the federal Wire Act comes from a U.S. senator in the South, where “states’ rights” has always been a rallying cry. This past week’s focus on the presence of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol (and… Read More

May 21, 2015

Minnesota Phases Out State Lottery-Operated Online Games

Minnesota Phases Out State Lottery-Operated Online Games

Minnesota’s legislature recently passed a bill that bars the Minnesota Lottery from offering online games, following a four month transition period. Specifically, the new law bans the lottery director from offering “the play of, on an electronic terminal, through a Web site, or by any other means or device, casino-style games, including but not limited… Read More

May 8, 2015

The “Fight of the Century” in its 13th Round

The “Fight of the Century” in its 13th Round

It’s not uncommon to see sports fans get emotional at a game, match, race, or fight. They feel invested in their team, invested in their athlete. For the sports bettors out there, that investment may be literal, but for most it’s largely emotional. So at the hour of defeat do disappointed fans have a legal… Read More

April 23, 2015

Many Firsts Surrounding This Year’s GiGse Conference

Many Firsts Surrounding This Year’s GiGse Conference

The 2015 Global iGaming Summit & Expo (GiGse) took place last week in San Francisco, and coincided with many exciting industry firsts. GiGse is the largest and most established event in North America which annually attracts over 700 iGaming and related industry professionals from all over the world. On April 20th, eGaming Review (EGR) North America, named Ifrah Law “Best… Read More

April 8, 2015

Phoenix Project: Atlantic City Can Rise From The Ashes

Phoenix Project: Atlantic City Can Rise From The Ashes

Most of the news from the Atlantic City Boardwalk over the last couple of years has not been promising. Several of the massive casino resort properties there have closed and/or slipped into bankruptcy, and the resale or reopening of the properties has been stalled by legal and financial hurdles. But a new plan for development… Read More

March 30, 2015

Recap of RAWA House Subcommittee Hearing and What It Means for iGaming

Recap of RAWA House Subcommittee Hearing and What It Means for iGaming

The House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations held a hearing last week to consider bill HR 707, the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” or RAWA.  The proposed bill would prohibit most types of online gambling, whether or not they have been legalized and regulated by any state. The bill was drafted in… Read More

March 4, 2015

Nevada Sports Books Will Be Going For The Gold During The Next Olympics

Nevada Sports Books Will Be Going For The Gold During The Next Olympics

It seems like, during the next Olympic Games in 2016, you will be able to bet your gold legally in Nevada on who will win the gold. Nevada gaming regulators have voted unanimously to permit the state’s sports books to accept wagers on the Olympic games for the first time in years. Nevada joins international… Read More

January 7, 2015

Daily Fantasy Sports and the Start of Class Action Season

Daily Fantasy Sports and the Start of Class Action Season

While billions of dollars of sports betting continues in the shadowy world of illegal off-shore sports books, the fantasy sports business has been on fire.  And as fantasy sports becomes the new hot “thing” online, it has continued to evolve: Dozens of companies are entering the market to offer everything thing from the increasingly common… Read More

December 23, 2014

The Current State of Online Lottery Sales and the Outlook for 2015

The Current State of Online Lottery Sales and the Outlook for 2015

As states continue to search for ways to generate additional revenue, several states have explored the possibility of selling lottery tickets online.  Online lottery ticket sales represent an untapped market for state lotteries that could see rapid expansion in the next several years and it also looks to be a hot issue in several state… Read More

November 20, 2014

Celebrity Endorsements, Online Poker and the FTC

Celebrity Endorsements, Online Poker and the FTC

Last week, without much attention, four new regulations affecting online gaming operations in New Jersey became effective under the authority of the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The rules include changes to directives on funding from social games, requirements for exclusivity, and operator server locations. However, the fourth rule is an addition which deals specifically with… Read More

November 18, 2014

Google Play and the Slow Transition to Mobile for Real Money Gaming

Google Play and the Slow Transition to Mobile for Real Money Gaming

If the past 10 years have taught us anything it’s that the future is not just online, it’s on the go.  For countless consumers, mobile and tablet devices are the preferred method of accessing online content.  After a slow start, gaming developers have come around to prioritizing mobile platforms.  All of this momentum has ground… Read More

October 15, 2014

CalvinAyre.com Interviews Jeff Ifrah at G2E 2014 on NJ Sports Betting

CalvinAyre.com Interviews Jeff Ifrah at G2E 2014 on NJ Sports Betting

This year’s G2E Conference in Las Vegas was held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center from September 29th to October 2nd. This premier gaming event is the largest floor show in North America with over 450 vendors and exhibitors, and also features key presentations by leaders in the industry. Firm founder, Jeff Ifrah was in attendance at G2E… Read More

September 17, 2014

The Push to Legalize NJ Sports Betting- Bloomberg Law Radio Interview with Jeff Ifrah

The Push to Legalize NJ Sports Betting- Bloomberg Law Radio Interview with Jeff Ifrah

Last week, the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a directive to the state’s casinos and racetracks allowing them to offer sports betting.  The direction was surprising to many who believed that the governor had yielded to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the state’s appeal on the federal sports betting ban. Recently, founding partner of Ifrah… Read More

September 2, 2014

Rolling the Dice with Casino VIP Lists

Rolling the Dice with Casino VIP Lists

In the competitive world of land-based casinos, high roller “VIP” players are courted with a host of special perks and privileges. A casino’s proprietary VIP customer list represents one of its most valuable assets, almost akin to the secret formula of Coca-Cola. This is why the Maryland Live! Casino filed suit in federal court in… Read More

August 28, 2014

Apparently, the Wizard of Oz Notwithstanding, Kansas Frowns upon Fantasy

Apparently, the Wizard of Oz Notwithstanding, Kansas Frowns upon Fantasy

Last week, the Kansas Gaming & Racing Commission (“KGRC”) updated the “Frequently Asked Questions” on its website to reflect its position that fantasy sports leagues violate Kansas law against gambling.  Under Kansas law, a “bet” is defined as “a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, one stands to win or lose… Read More

August 11, 2014

Gov. Christie Vetoes Latest Sports Betting Bill

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On Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that marked the latest effort to bring legal sports betting to the state’s casinos and racetracks marking another temporary setback, though the efforts may not be over.  The Governor stated in his veto message that the Third Circuit’s opinion from earlier this year striking down… Read More

July 31, 2014

Kentucky Becomes Latest State to Move Toward Online Lottery Ticket Sales

Kentucky Becomes Latest State to Move Toward Online Lottery Ticket Sales

  Earlier this month, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation (“KLC”) presented state lawmakers with a timeline for the launching of an online lottery ticket sales platform by the middle of 2015.  The KLC’s plan is to launch multi-state drawing games such as Powerball first and then launch other lottery products in the following months.  Online lottery… Read More

July 23, 2014

Atlantic City Needed to Go Online Years Ago

Atlantic City Needed to Go Online Years Ago

Photo Credit: Meinzahn Three more casinos are set to close in Atlantic City. Unions, politicians and lobbyists are pointing fingers. One thing is for certain, newly introduced online gaming legislation is not to blame. If experts had been paying attention to the trends, they would have introduced regulated online gaming into New Jersey years ago…. Read More

July 15, 2014

Lesniak’s Bill is New Jersey’s Latest Play to Bring Sports Betting to the State

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Sometimes you should be careful what you ask for. And sometimes even when you get what you ask for, it turns out not to be what you wanted. The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a petition for certiorari by the State of New Jersey in the case challenging its sports wagering law as a violation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection… Read More

July 1, 2014

Florida’s Sweepstakes Law Takes Aim at Dubious Sweepstakes Run by Non-Profits – Legislative Fix Has Broad, Unintended Consequences

Florida’s Sweepstakes Law Takes Aim at Dubious Sweepstakes Run by Non-Profits –  Legislative Fix Has Broad, Unintended Consequences

  Florida continues to lead the fight against illegal gambling in Internet cafes.  In 2013, state and federal agents arrested dozens of individuals associated with Internet sweepstakes cafes operated by the “Allied Veterans of the World & Affiliates,” a purported charitable group.  These Internet cafes operated under a potential legal loophole.  Patrons were supposedly buying… Read More

Supreme Court Denies Cert. in New Jersey Sports Betting Case

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On June 23, the United States Supreme Court denied New Jersey’s petition for a writ of certiorari to hear an appeal from lower court decisions that invalidated its sports wagering law.  This ends a three year fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks, but NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who has spearheaded… Read More

June 30, 2014

Why Is Casino Gaming Excluded from Online Gaming Proposals?

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Now that three states—Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey—have successfully launched online gaming, there is a flurry of proposed legislation as other U.S. jurisdictions seek to get in on the action.  A surprising number of the proposals seek to limit gaming to poker alone, forbidding real-money online casino games such as slots and blackjack.  Such proposals… Read More

Court Decision Good for Poker, Bad for Bottom Feeding Plaintiffs

Court Decision Good for Poker, Bad for Bottom Feeding Plaintiffs

  On Friday, a New Jersey state court judge threw out a lawsuit brought against the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City by six men who alleged that the Borgata was negligent in running a tournament in the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open which was cancelled after counterfeit poker chips were discovered in… Read More

June 26, 2014

Bovada Poker Exits Regulated Markets

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In April the state of New Jersey issued warning letters to online gaming affiliate marketers who advertised unlicensed gaming websites in-state.  Now, one unlicensed operator is taking the warning to heart and withdrawing from regulated markets. Bovada, the largest online poker site in the U.S., will no longer be accepting new players from the regulated… Read More

June 9, 2014

Extra Caution Required in Mobile Advertising as New Jersey DGE Releases Guidance for Affiliate Marketers

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Today, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Gaming Enforcement (“DGE”) released additional guidance for affiliate marketing companies working with state online gaming operators. The full text of the letter can be viewed here. This guidance comes only weeks after the DGE issued warning letters to affiliate… Read More

May 16, 2014

New York to Cash In with its Online Poker Bill

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Introduced as “S 6913” on March 29, 2014, New York’s online poker bill will allow for poker only, both cash and tournament play. The bill allows New York to enter into liquidity-sharing arrangements with other states. As of now, the bill authorizes 10 online poker licenses that are good for 10 years. The licensing fee… Read More

May 16, 2014

State of Opportunity

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Online gambiling is up and running in New Jersey and it’s off to a strong start, providing a welcome shot in the arm for ailing Atlantic City. Lawyer Sarah Coffey offers some early analysis. Gambling-Insider-State-of-Opportunity

The Law According to NJ

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Jeff Ifrah and Sarah Coffey of Ifrah Law explain everything you need to know about the New Jersey iGaming regulations. Gaming-Intelligence-The-Law-According-to-NJ