OPINION (Affirming USDC Order Granting Summary Judgment re UIGEA Claim)

CALIFORNIA v. IIPAY NATION OF SANTA YSABEL [re Internet Gaming – UIGEA]

Opinion by Judge Bea

SUMMARY

Tribal Gaming

The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the State of California and the United States in their action seeking injunctive relief prohibiting Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel from continuing to operate Desert Rose Casino.

Desert Rose Casino is exclusively a server-based bingo game that allows patrons to play computerized bingo over the internet. Iipay Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe with tribal lands located in San Diego County, California.

The panel held that Iipay Nation’s operation of Desert Rose Casino violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”). The panel held that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act protected gaming activity conducted on Indian lands, but the patrons’ act of placing a bet or wager on a game of Desert Rose Casino while located in California, violated the UIGEA, and was not protected by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The panel further held that even if all of the “gaming activity” associated with Desert Rose Casino occurred on Indian lands, the patrons’ act of placing bets or wagers over the internet while located in a jurisdiction where those bets or wagers were illegal made Iipay Nation’s decision to accept financial payments associated with those bets or wagers a violation of the UIGEA.

Because Iipay’s operation of DRB violates the UIGEA, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit AFFIRMED the district court’s order granting summary judgment to the Government.

IJI Law Comment —

However, the Court also noted the following: “[w]e take no position on whether Iipay would violate the UIGEA by accepting DRB bets or wagers exclusively from patrons located in jurisdictions where bingo is legal.” See, Footnote No. 15.


 

17-55150 CA9 Opinion IIPAY Nation

Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

With anti-establishment politics shaking governments across the west, US and European intelligence chiefs are newly raising the alarm about Russian cyber attacks and information warfare, saying they pose a threat to their democracies. In the US, the warnings have been met with a mix of outrage and outright dubiousness. While a bipartisan group of senators…

via Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

Gov. Chris Christie Being Vetted as Potential Vice-Presidential Pick for Trump Poses Grave Dangers to State-Authorized Medical & Regulated Marijuana.

Voters in four states and Washington, D.C. have approved measures legalizing marijuana for individuals over 21, and four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — approved taking marijuana production and sales off the criminal market and regulating and taxing them. Additionally, 25 States have now legalized marijuana for medical use within those States.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is now being vetted as a possible vice presidential pick for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to two ranking Republican officials as reported earlier today by Yahoo News and The Guardian.   Additionally, many in the Beltway contend that Gov. Christie would be on the short list for appointment of US Attorney General in a potential Trump Presidential Administration.

During the Republican Presidential Debates, Gov. Chris Christie unequivocally and unambiguously stated that he would use the Federal governments authority via the USDOJ or otherwise to shut down all licensed and/or regulated use of marijuana in any State regardless of lawful medicinal or other legal use within such a State — i.e., Christie vowed not to follow the current DOJ policy concerning marijuana as most recently has been set forth in its 2013 Memo.

 
Protecting the Principle of Federalism in Marijuana Policies: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) reintroduced H.R. 1940, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act with strong bipartisan support. This legislation would modify the federal Controlled Substances Act to protect anyone acting in compliance with state marijuana laws from federal prosecution and resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws, ensuring states can determine their own policies. Others have introduced similar legislation.

It remains imperative that all US States who have already authorized and/or decriminalized marijuana be vigilant in monitoring Federal officials and those who aspire to be.  Similarly, States such as California which are now contemplating legal marijuana on the ballot this year, should be fully aware of Federal policy and particularly those who will be in a position to apply it.

 
Accordingly, should Trump select Christie as his VP (potentially becoming only a heartbeat away from the Presidency), or alternatively, appoint him as his AG in any Trump administration should Trump become POTUS, the result for State regulated, authorized, and legal marijuana could be disastrous specifically to State-authorized marijauna and generally to concepts of federalism as to other fundamental State’s rights.
En garde.

Are the Feds Going to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports on a Nationwide Basis…?

“States have traditionally handled regulation of gambling, supported by federal law in situations where an interstate of foreign element might otherwise frustrate the enforcement of state law,” posited the CRS report. “With respect to federal law, DFS may implicate at least four gambling-related statutes.”

See, espn Chalk Talk report by Ryan Rodenberg

By Mistake or By Design: Why Does DraftKings Technology Not Block Proxies To Keep DFS Users From Restricted US States?

Saturday, November 14th 2015Ian J. Imrich, Esq.

Experts in geolocation — the technique of determining a computer’s location — say that blocking proxies is one of the first, and most straightforward, steps that websites take to keep users from restricted areas off the sites.

DraftKings clearly states the importance of complying with the laws of certain US jurisdictions. But as reported by the New York Times (whose investigative journalists probed the matter), some question the sincerity of the site operator’s terms of use.

By stating in the “terms of service” that users in some regions are not allowed, while at the same time doing little to enforce the rule, online gambling companies around the world often try to have it both ways, said Feda Mecan, a senior official at Playing Legal, a site based in Germany that is devoted to legal gambling in the United States. “I think they are playing that card, to be honest,” Mr. Mecan said.

Then, according to a poker web forum the NYT has reported, a DraftKings employee appeared to provide public advice on how to circumvent geographic restrictions in the United States.

“It seems absurd that a daily fantasy sports operator with financial means would not implement the best possible technology,” Professor Marc Edelman of Baruch College said.

Whether by mistake or perhaps by design, the failure to timely, properly, and regularly employ readily available Geo-Blocking technology to comply with jurisdictional rules in certain States throughout the nation could prove disastrous in the ongoing investigations and pending legal proceedings against of one of the top two daily fantasy sports companies currently operating within the US.

Why is UK-Based Daily Fantasy Sports Site FanDuel Only Now Applying For A License in the UK …?

Los Angeles, CA — November 6, 2015

Endemic gaming blogs are now reporting and FanDuel itself has confirmed that it is now applying for a gambling license in the UK vis-a-vis fantasy sports gaming.  See, e.g., http://www.legalsportsreport.com/5900/fanduel-uk-gambling-license/?utm_content=buffer93674&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Why Now?  (Especially given the fact that FanDuel is — and has been for some time — a UK-based gaming company that has not ever previously offered its DFS services to customers / markets beyond the US and Canada) Because the US market has become increasingly cloudy on the legal and regulatory front – as simple as that.

While the US market for DFS has not and will not likely be entirely shut down, it is now abundantly clear that it’s going to be a potpourri of State-by-State regulations and with uncertainty as to ring-fenced intra-state gaming activity versus inter-state customer pooling and resulting liquidity via State to State compact, and all with the possibility of Federal Intervention lurking ominously in the background — currently during an election year in the US.
Of course, FanDuel could have made this move years ago.  The same could be said for its chief competitor Draft Kings.  But, as is the case in many an eCommerce industry (or brick and mortar for that matter), the threat of regulatory activity and possibility of legal enforcement often hastens the moves of companies who have yet to diversify, divest, and divulge.
Strategic business maneuvering is more art than science.   Here the creativity, while somewhat tardy, is still artistic.
–IJI

NCLGS RE-ASSERTS NEED FOR STATE OVERSIGHT IN JURISDICTIONS WITH GAMING, OPPOSES THE RESTORATION OF AMERICA’S WIRE ACT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Susan Nolan
NCLGS National Office
518-687-0615

NCLGS RE-ASSERTS NEED FOR STATE OVERSIGHT IN JURISDICTIONS WITH GAMING,
OPPOSES THE RESTORATION OF AMERICA’S WIRE ACT

Troy, New York, March 26, 2015—Reiterating its long-standing belief that states are the most appropriate regulators of Internet and other forms of gaming, NCLGS yesterday wrote U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committee leadership to urge against any legislation that includes The Restoration of America’s Wire Act.

NCLGS President Rep. Helene Keeley (DE) asserted in the letter that:

Any legislation proposing to amend the Wire Act to prohibit transmission of wagering information for all types of gambling activities, including Internet gambling, would effectively preempt the states’ historical ability to properly regulate gaming. It is NCLGS’ strong conviction as legislators who chair and are members of the legislative committees that work diligently to develop sound public gaming policy, that states are the most appropriate entity to decide upon, and oversee, what kind of gaming should exist and what should not within their borders.

Rep. Keeley noted that Congress is already on record as favoring of state authority. The Interstate Horse Racing Act, Rep. Keeley asserted, says that “the States should have the primary responsibility for determining what forms of gambling may legally take place within their borders,” not only terrestrially, but via “electronic media.”

Rep. Keeley said in the letter that technological advances in gaming—Internet or otherwise—present “multiple social and economic policy issues to be considered.” She said that NCLGS recently finalized its Policy Framework for Regulation of Internet Gambling to safeguard states that want Internet gaming—and those that do not. Nine (9) states, she said, have passed bills to expand, legalize, or prohibit Internet gaming, and others are considering measures.

NCLGS addressed its March 24 letter to Senators Chuck Grassley (IA) and Patrick Leahy (VT), Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; and to Representatives Bob Goodlatte (VA) and John Conyers (MI), Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Committee on the Judiciary. NCLGS also sent the letter to all House and Senate Judiciary Committee members and to House and Senate leadership.

NCLGS has opposed Restoration of America’s Wire Act provisions in the past. In April 2014, the organization urged Judiciary Committee leadership to defeat H.R. 4301/S. 2159.

NCLGS is the only non-partisan organization of state lawmakers that meets on a regular basis to discuss issues in regard to gaming. NCLGS does not support or oppose gaming, but supports effective regulation and believes that decisions related to gaming should be made by the citizens of the individual states and their elected officials. More information is available at http://www.nclgs.org.

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