NY Court of Appeals Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Daily Fantasy Sports Law, Reversing Lower Court Rulings

On March 22, 2022, the New York Court of Appeals held that the historical prohibition on “gambling” in Article I, §9 of the New York Constitution does not encompass skill-based competitions like daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, in which participants who exercise substantial influence over the outcome are awarded pre-determined fixed prizes by a neutral operator. (See White, et. al. v. Cuomo, et al., 2022 NY Slip Op. 01954 (March 22, 2022)). In so holding, the court upheld the 2016 state law explicitly authorizing and regulating DFS contests, and reversed the 2018 and 2020 lower court decisions, which held DFS contests qualify as “gambling” under the New York Constitution and could therefore only be legalized through a constitutional amendment. continue reading

New York State Senator Introduces Bill to Legalize iGaming

In February 2022, New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced S.B. 8412, a bill that would legalize online casino gaming (also known as “iGaming”) in New York. If passed, the Bill would give the New York State Gaming Commission (the Commission) the authority to issue iGaming “registrations” to (1) the state’s licensed commercial casinos; and (2) any New York-based American Indian Tribe that has entered into a valid tribal-state gaming compact and executed a “mobile interactive gaming wagering” agreement with the Commission. Each casino/tribal registrant would be permitted to offer up to two individually-branded iGaming platforms. Under the bill, casino/tribal registrants could either operate their own iGaming platforms or contract with third-party platform operators who could conduct iGaming operations on their behalf. As a condition of registration, each casino/tribal registrant would be required to pay a one-time fee of $2 million, and each third-party iGaming platform operator would be required to pay a one-time fee of $10 million. continue reading

Arkansas Online Sports Betting Delayed Until at Least March 2022

As we reported previously, in December 2021, the Arkansas Racing Commission voted to amend the state’s casino gaming rules to allow online/mobile sports betting throughout the state. The amended rules take effect immediately upon approval by the Arkansas Legislative Council, which was planning to consider the rules at its January 28 meeting. Earlier this week, however, the Commission asked the Council hold off on considering the amended rules until its next meeting, scheduled for March 18, 2022.

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Maverick Gaming LLC Mounts Legal Challenge to Washington’s Sports Betting Framework, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

On January 11, 2022, Maverick Gaming LLC (Maverick), a non-tribal cardroom and casino operator, initiated a lawsuit in D.C. federal court challenging Washington state’s sports betting framework, which grants federally-recognized Indian tribes the right to offer sports betting (and certain other class III games), but makes it illegal for non-tribal entities to engage in such activity.

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