Posts Tagged: Illegal Gambling

Daily Fantasy Sports Update: From Skill v. Chance to Legislative Dance

Sports have given us the Icky Shuffle, the Mark Gastineau sack dance and George “Twinkle Toes” Selkirk.  Perhaps the greatest dance of all has been the state legislatures side-stepping the skill v. chance issue.

I really thought we’d get practical guidance from the Daily Fantasy Sports skill v. chance debate for marketing lawyers to help advise on typical promotional games.  The New York State lawsuits between the NY Attorney General and DraftKings and FanDuel provided just the battleground.  But, alas, it was not meant to be.  Was politics the poison or the antidote?

Since the New York DFS lawsuits began in November 2015, fifteen states have passed laws legalizing DFS – including New York in August 2016.  For those keeping track, DFS is now legal in AK, CO, DE, IN, KS, ME, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT. (more…)

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The U.S. Supreme Court Tackles Sports Gambling Law

Today (Monday December 4, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association involving sports-gambling.  I bet many of you have heard about the case and know that it has something to do with a fight between New Jersey and the U.S. government over the legalization/illegalization of sports-gambling.  The odds are lower that you know exactly what the legal arguments are and how this impacts gambling in general.

Here is a brief primer on the lawsuit, the law, and the implications.  The devil may be in the details, so I’ve grabbed my pitchfork to dig in to the legal arguments. (more…)

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Where’s the Beef? Selling Internet Time Could Get You Time (The Sweepstakes Legitimate Product Requirement)

In 1984, Clara Peller, when opening a bun and finding only a tiny burger, first asked the famous line, “Where’s the beef?” This question is still relevant today in sweepstakes world. Even if you have an AMOE, when you provide entries for purchasing a product, it better be a hamburger and not just the aroma.

This week an attorney was reinstated to the Florida Bar after four years and having been convicted (which was later overturned and remanded) of various crimes for advising a client on the legality of running a “sweepstakes” involving internet cafés selling “internet time” to its customers who then received entries which simulated popular casino-style games to reveal whether the customer won a prize.  (more…)

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2016: The Year in Review

In case you missed it, here are some notable items from 2016 concerning sweepstakes, contests, and related promotional matters:

Influencers, Native Advertising, and Endorsements

2016 kicked off with reaction to the FTC’s new Native Advertising Rules which seek more transparency in sponsored stories/advertising.

In March, in its first enforcement action, the FTC cracked down on Lord & Taylor for paying “influencers” to attract social media attention to its Paisley Asymmetrical Dress.  The FTC issued a number of directives, including making the influencers aware of their participation, and making disclosure of the relationship unavoidable.

In May, the National Advertising Division (NAD), a self-regulatory industry, issued a decision concerning native advertising appearing in People.com under the “Stuff We Love” section.  The NAD determined that disclosure of the sponsorship must be made before you get to the stuff page.

In July, the FTC charged Warner Bros. with making inadequate disclosures in videos of influencers playing a new video game.  The FTC didn’t like that the sponsorship disclosure was in a collapsed box below the video and needed to be in a place where consumers will find it.

In October, in an effort to comply with the FTC Rule, YouTube introduced a new feature allowing visible text on a video for the first few seconds with the label stating “Includes paid promotion”

The take:  Consumers and the FTC don’t particularly like “influencers” or hidden ads, so be conspicuous. (more…)

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Playing for Keeps: Daily Fantasy Football 2016

When the last online fantasy football game was played, the attorneys general of New York, Nevada and Illinois were throwing penalty flags, state legislators was huddling to set the next play, and the daily fantasy sports leagues were taking it on the chin.

Where are we now? Here’s a 50 state survey:

DFS expressly allowed: CO, IN, KS, MD, MA, MS, MO, NY, RI, TN, WV, VA

Contested: AL, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, NV, SD, TX

Banned: AZ, IO, LA, MT, WA

Proposed legislation: CA, CT, FL, KY, MI, MN, NE, NJ, NM, OK, PA, SC, WI

No legislation: AS, AK, ME, NH, NC, ND, OH, OR, UT, WY

How about this stat: leading up to the 2015 NFL season, daily fantasy sports leagues spent over $750 million in ads – more than the entire beer industry. In 2015, the top two companies had recorded a combined $3 billion in player entry fees. (more…)

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Competitive Video Gambling: The Secret Hobby Going on in Your Basement

Competitive video gaming is a somewhat recent attraction for (mostly) young adult boys and (mostly) men who think they are young adult boys. I’ve even seen my young adult son watch YouTube videos of other people playing video games. (Don’t shame me as a parent.) Competitive video gambling is what happens when people decide to bet on the outcome of others playing video games. Class actions are what happen when the unlucky gamblers decide to sue.

Recently, one of these gamblers brought a putative class action against the publisher and developer of the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive (or in vid game talk, CS:GO) claiming that the game allowed for illegal gambling, the “contract” he entered into with the developer was invalid, and of course, he should get restitution for his losses.

In my real simple terms, gathered from the Complaint, CS:GO matches are streamed live on websites like Twitch; user accounts can be linked to third-party (international) websites; and players can purchase “skins” which can be used like casino chips to place bets on the games. (more…)

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