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Industry News of the Day for November 4, 2019

Industry News of the Day for November 4, 2019

iDEA Growth in the News:

iDEA Growth Member News:

Industry News:

California:

Colorado:

Illinois:

  • Gambling Compliance, 11.4.19 – Operators Preparing For New-Look Illinois Casino Market (subscription paywall)
    • After applications were submitted for five of the six new casino licenses created in Illinois’ major new gaming expansion law this summer, executives from several companies who operate in the state or hope to open a property there are preparing for what comes next.

Virginia:

  • Gambling Compliance, 11.4.19 – Voters To Decide Fate Of Virginia Casinos, Instant Racing Parlors (subscription paywall)
    • With several casino projects in limbo pending decisions to be made by the state legislature in 2020, voters in two Virginia cities will decide on Tuesday if they want Colonial Downs to operate off-track betting shops featuring historical horseracing (HHR) terminals.

New Hampshire:

Kentucky:

Missouri:

Sports League News:

 

_______________________

 

Jeff Ifrah

Founding Member

Ifrah Law PLLC

Pioneer Spirit

Jeff Ifrah served as a trial lawyer and officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, trial counsel to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth and special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey before going into private practice. “When I first came to Washington, D.C., in 1997, an email went around the firm asking if anyone knew the head of gaming enforcement in New Jersey. It turns out, he was in the army with me and we were prosecutors together.” The client was a European sportsbook company. “The client was advertising in New Jersey, and at the time it was unclear what the law was. So I defended the matter pretty quickly. From there, people started referring me other cases involving prosecution of offshore gaming companies.”

Ifrah also litigated cases against the federal government and achieved victories in matters involving criminal and civil antitrust laws, securities laws and the Civil False Claims Act for clients in the pharmaceuticals, health care and technology industries. During the late 1990s and 200s, Ifrah was also defending litigation for sportsbook and casino operators. “They eventually wanted to stop fighting and look into regulation.” Ifrah became involved in New Jersey’s regulated gambling about seven years ago. “The state first legalized poker, then sports betting. We expected other states to follow, but they didn’t. We identified that as a problem. So we formed a trade association, the iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA), which is a nonprofit made up of 25 online entertainment companies that seek to grow jobs and expand online interactive gaming in the U.S. through advocacy and education.” Ifrah serves as general counsel for iDEA.

Trails Blazed

Ifrah’s work on behalf of iDEA has included writing an amicus brief for Murphy v. NCAA, where the U.S. Supreme Court allowed New Jersey’s move to legalize gambling last year. “Once the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, iDEA expanded into sports betting as well. Now, 70 percent of mobile operators active in the U.S. are members of iDEA.” Changes in regulation and legislation for gambling will continue to proceed state by state. “That makes it very complicated. Clients come to us to work with legislators and gaming regulators on sensible and reasonable legislation and regulation. In some cases, that may mean we go to court, but obviously clients prefer to work with regulators and not against them.”

Since the Murphy v. NCAA decision, Ifrah has spoken at 13 national and international conferences and presented webinars on various aspects of U.S. sports betting. He also authored a law review article and national newspaper op-ed on the topic and currently serves on the editorial and advisory board of Online Gambling Lawyer.

Between his roles at the firm and iDEA, he now represents 90 percent of operators, platform providers and digital media providers involved in sports betting, along with a significant portion of digital fantasy sports companies and sports skills games.

Future Explorations

Sports leagues originally tried to block New Jersey’s efforts to legalize gambling. “They were against what they said would hurt the integrity of games. Now leagues want a piece of the pie and this is opening all sorts of new possibilities! We regularly field calls from startups in the space, to established players in Europe, to new suppliers to the industry. One particular sweet spot for us is representing media companies and live streaming companies, both of which are getting in on this new fun and exciting area!”