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.

Restitution complaint filed by NYAG against FD and DK re DFS players’ losses in NY.

In a savvy legal maneuver, the NYAG has amended its complaint against FD and DK seeking #DFS players’ full restitution for losses suffered on their sites in NY; this brilliant litigation tactic may not work, but it will almost certainly pit 90 + % of DFS players against the sites. I predict that DFS players today will be no different than iPoker players (or most other Americans for that matter) – give me my $ back…!

Restitution complaint filed by NYAG against FD and DK re DFS players’ losses in NY.

 

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.

Is The NFL Now Distancing Itself from Daily Fantasy Sports; and if so, Why Now…?

Friday, November 13th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq. 

The fantasy sports gaming business in the US is almost entirely unregulated. That’s just the way the NFL has always wanted it — until now.

After NFL’s lobbying extensively in late 2006 to get a “carve-out” from the hastily passed Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) — a carve out that the US Department of Justice never supported (and if reports coming out are true) —  the NFL is now quickly attempting to distance itself from the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry.  See, e.g., NFL is reviewing the entire fantasy sports situation, reports the New York Post.

Why now? Well, here are just a few possible reasons that might help to explain the NFL’s Fall of 2015 back-tracking:

-Legal challenges to the nationwide sports betting ban in Federal Courts are pending and the NFL remains vehemently opposed to any sort of legalized sports wagering (while the NBA by contrast favors regulated sports betting);

-Two major NFL owners could be forced to sell their huge equity stakes within the DFS industry;

-NFL policy strictly prohibits NFL employees or team owners from participating in or facilitating any form of gambling  — yet the same prohibitions do not apply to unregulated DFS skill gaming;

Meanwhile, what have Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, and one major DFS site operator said about these reports?  So far, The Cowboys, Patriots and DraftKings have declined comment.  Will await to see how long their silence is deafening…

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How Will Divergent Approaches To Sports-Related Gaming Issues Impact Macro eCommerce and Regulatory Approaches…?

October 29th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq. 

The fantasy sports business in the US is largely unregulated. A handful of states have made it illegal to play fantasy sports for money and a few have laws making it expressly legal. None have in place a framework for regulating operators. Concurrently, traditional sports-betting (except for in a handful of States –notably Nevada) is illegal throughout the US.

On the one hand, the NBA has taken a progressive approach to regulatory measures for sports-related gaming activity in the US; meanwhile, the NFL maintains its vigorous opposition to legalization of traditional sports-betting, but seems to have painted itself into a corner regarding its contradictory and hypocritical “skill” arguments with respect to traditional sports-betting as compared and contrasted to fantasy sports betting of the daily, weekly, and other less than seasonal gaming.   See, e.g., http://espn.go.com/chalk/story/_/id/13268458/documents-show-justice-department-nfl-argued-skill-sports-betting

FanDuel has now embraced State-by-State regulation in the US in order to protect DFS consumers while DraftKings appears ready to dig in (perhaps emboldened by 2 powerful NFL owner-investors?) and by all appearances will resist any efforts by States to regulate DFS — relying instead on trade association self-regulation. See, http://www.wsj.com/articles/fanduel-ceo-calls-for-government-regulation-1446127412?cb=logged0.2795360852977816

Speaking of powerful sports-related owner-investors, recently, yet another NBA owner has joined two other NBA power-brokers on another sports-related venture: to wit, Ted Leonsis, who now owns the Wizards, the Capitals and Verizon Center, on last Tuesday announced that his Revolution Growth partnership is joining fellow NBA team owners Jordan, of the Charlotte ­Hornets, and Mark Cuban, of the Dallas Mavericks, in an investment in the Swiss technology firm ­Sportradar.

Sportradar collects data from more than 325,000 live sporting events across the planet, ranging from darts to tennis and from soccer to snooker.  Sportradar digests that data, then sells it to big media companies such as Google and Fox Sports, to fantasy sports leagues, and to gaming and gambling businesses. See, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/ted-leonsis-team-with-michael-jordan-mark-cuban-in-sports-tech-investment/2015/10/27/84ef7f06-7cd9-11e5-b575-d8dcfedb4ea1_story.html

In any event, with a convergence of sports-betting related investments and other strategic business alliances being forged whilst the consumers, media, and the government simultaneously review the DFS industries, it begs the question —  how will these dramatically divergent approaches to DFS (and to sports-betting in general) between two major sports leagues play out as the ongoing State and Federal investigations of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) ominously loom in the background…?

I guess all of us are about to find out…

Stay tuned!

–IJI

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Handwriting is on the wall for Supreme Court gay-marriage decision with rebuke of Alabama AG.

The Supreme Court on Monday gave its strongest signal yet that advocates seeking the legalization of gay marriage nationwide have won even before April’s arguments.

The justices, with only two dissents, turned down a plea to delay same-sex marriages in Alabama by the state’s attorney general. The court’s action clears the way, for the first time in the Deep South, for gay couples to seek marriage licenses. A federal judge in Alabama had struck down the state’s law limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

Normally, a state might have expected the high court to block the judge’s decision from taking effect, given that the justices had agreed to rule by June on whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

[See, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-gay-marriage-alabama-analysis-20150209-story.html%5D

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New evidence surfaces in CA Attorney General’s Office allegations that former head traded on his status as a former leader of the enforcement unit to promote his business.

WATCHDOG: Gambling enforcer memo tweaked deal.

Missive made it easier for future clients to speed up card games

The former gambling enforcement bureau official who wrote the memo, Robert E. Lytle, started his own successful business as a consultant to some 20 cardrooms around the state, with an ownership stake in two, after retiring from state work as the chief of the gambling enforcement division on Dec. 30, 2007.

Now, the California Attorney General accusation alleges that former enforcement head Robert Lytle arranged to go to work for a company that owned a San Jose cardroom while he was still on the state payroll in 2007. That cardroom is now at the center of an investigation by state regulators who say the current owners hid millions of dollars in profits through a maze of companies over the past several years.

Watchdog reporter for U T San Diego, Greg Moran, reports that the former head of gambling enforcement in California wrote a legal opinion letter to two Cardroom lobbying groups just 10 days before he left state employment — a letter that has purportedly proved to be a boon to Lytle’s forthcoming new clients as a consultant after leaving the bureau — the very cardrooms he previously regulated and oversaw regarding enforcement of California’s gambling rules and regulations.

The Lytle memo reportedly reinterpreted a requirement that games be operated as play among amateurs with rotating responsibility as dealers, as opposed to the faster play and higher stakes allowed by professionalized dealers serving as the bank.