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by: Jeff Silver, Jennifer Gaynor, Greg Gemignani, and Kate Lowenhar-Fisher How far do Nevada’s casinos need to go to police marijuana use by their customers? Can a casino resort allow a marijuana industry conference to utilize its convention facilities? What practices do casinos need to follow regarding customers that may be gambling with funds acquired through participation in the state-legal marijuana industry? Nevada’s gaming licensees and regulators have been grappling with these questions, and more, since the state legalized both medical and recreational marijuana sales and use. As discussed in our article “Marijuana and the Gaming Industry in Nevada: Just Say No,” the Nevada Gaming Commission (“Commission”) kicked off the public discussion on these topics this past August. But this discussion really left more questions than answers. Therefore, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed an Executive Order reconvening the state’s Gaming Policy Committee (“Committee”) to gather information, engage in discussion, and provide recommendations on policies related to the potential interactions between Nevada’s gaming industry and the marijuana industry. The Gaming Policy Committee is a special advisory board designated to weigh in on touchy or novel regulatory matters, and the Committee members include elected legislative officials, a tribal gaming representative, an educator, the Chairmen of both the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, and “industry representatives” (Jim Murren, CEO and Chairman of MGM, Keith Smith, President of Boyd Corporation,...

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Tribal Courts Have Say On Project Suit: Arizona Panel

An Arizona appeals court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a suit alleging that several Hualapai Tribe officials committed fraud in terminating a company’s contract to run a tribal tourist attraction, saying tribal courts rather than state courts must tackle a case that deals entirely with on-reservation activity. WD at the Canyon LLC had asked the Arizona Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling that state courts didn’t have jurisdiction over the company’s suit alleging the tribal officials wrongly canceled its contract to manage the Hualapai Ranch. The company contended that the acts of fraud and misrepresentation it alleged weren’t only located on the reservation and were actually subject to state court jurisdiction. The appeals court rejected that argument Tuesday, saying that the company’s claims were directed against tribal officials acting in their officially capacity and that the suit hinged on two activities — the euthanization of a horse and a letter describing the company’s alleged breach of its management contract for the ranch — that “occurred solely on the Hualapai reservation.” “Because extending state jurisdiction here would infringe on the tribe’s sovereignty and ability to self-govern, the superior court did not err by granting the motion to dismiss,” Judge Randall M. Howe wrote on behalf of the court’s panel. WD at the Canyon reached an agreement with a Hualapai Tribe-owned entity called the Grand Canyon Resort...

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by: Jennifer Gaynor, Greg Gemignani, Kate Lowenhar-Fisher, and Jeff Silver The biggest legal showdown in a long time on a question of gaming policy is about to come before the United States Supreme Court. At stake is the ability of the states to tap into a legalized sports betting market that could grow to between $2 billion to $5.8 billion within the next five years, according to a recent Gambling Compliance study. On one side: the State of New Jersey, which seeks to overturn the federal law that bans legalized sports wagering in all but a few grandfathered states, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or “PASPA” (28 U.S.C. 3701). New Jersey claims that PASPA violates states’ rights by forcing the states to carry out the federal prohibition against sports wagering and therefore “commandeers” (usurps) the regulatory power of the states. On the other side: the National College Athletic Association (“NCAA”), National Football League (“NFL”), National Basketball Association (“NBA”), National Hockey League (“NHL”), and Major League Baseball (the “MLB”) (together, “the Leagues”). Their claim is that PASPA is not unconstitutional commandeering because it does not require the states to do anything proactively. With arguments scheduled for December 4, 2017, this should be a vigorous war of words! Here are the highlights of the major arguments: New Jersey New Jersey’s argument, in short, is that PASPA impermissibly commandeers the...

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Gaming, Gambling & Licensing 2018 Practice Guide Published in Chambers & Partners

Michael D. Lipton, Q.C.  (Senior Partner, Toronto), Kevin J. Weber (Partner, Toronto), and Chantal A. Cipriano(Associate, Toronto) have jointly authored the Canada Global Gaming, Gambling and Licensing Guide for Chambers and Partners. The Guide discusses the regulatory and licensing gaming regime in Canada, as well as the application of the gaming and betting provisions of the Criminal Code. Please click here to read the ‘Canada – Gaming, Gambling and Licensing 2018’ Guide.   About the Authors: Michael D. Lipton, Q.C. is a Senior Partner based in Toronto and heads the Canadian gaming law group. For over 25 years, he has served as senior counsel on several complex gaming law matters, including advising on Requests for Proposals from governments to operate commercial and charitable casinos and advising applicants who seek registration with the gaming regulatory authorities throughout North America. He regularly represents and counsels gaming equipment suppliers, institutional investors, governments, racetracks, casinos, First Nations and pari-mutuel operators in all aspects of gaming law from both a land-based and internet perspective. He has earned a global reputation for the strength and substance of his practice. He is a founding member and past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law, a member of the American Bar Association, the International Association of Gaming Advisors, Chair of Gaming Law Canadian Institute Seminar (2006-2009), Chair of Gaming Law Canadian Gaming Summit (2008-2016), and was Awarded...

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Marijuana Money Challenges Nevada Casinos’ Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

Kate Lowenhar-Fisher (Member, Las Vegas), Jacob Frenkel (Member, Washington D.C.), Leighton Koehler (Of Counsel, Las Vegas) and Seth Waxman (Member, Washington D.C.) have co-authored a Global Gaming & Licensing Guide for Chambers and Partners titled ‘Marijuana Money Challenges Nevada Casinos’ Anti-Money Laundering Compliance.’  The guide discusses how the anti-money laundering (AML) statutes and rules, regulations and compliance requirements for casinos are evolving to deal with the growing state-legal marijuana industry and the importance of having a comprehensive risk-based compliance plan. About the Authors: Kate Lowenhar-Fisher is a member partner in the Las Vegas office. She is a leading Nevada gaming attorney who counsels many of the world’s premier gaming companies on regulatory issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, reorganizations and financings. Kate has extensive experience advising clients on issues related to Internet gaming, social gaming, fantasy sports, liquor licensing, nightclubs, restaurants, sweepstakes, contests, and promotions. She regularly represents individuals and businesses before regulatory agencies, including the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Clark County Liquor and Gaming Licensing Board and the Las Vegas City Council. Kate may be reached at 702-550-4459. Jacob Frenkel is a member partner in our Washington, D.C. office. Clients hire Jacob because his aggressive, tenacious, creative and proactive strategies often put the other side on its heels, and because he gets successful results in investigations and litigation. Jacob...

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The Gaming and Hospitality Practice blog is published by Dickinson Wright PLLC to inform the public of important developments within the firm and practice areas. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in this blog.