Justia Gaming Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Constitutional Law
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The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the appellate division modifying and affirming the judgment of Supreme Court declaring that article 14 of the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and breeding Law violates the constitutional prohibition on gambling to the extent it authorizes interactive fantasy sport (IFS) contests, holding that Plaintiffs did not meet their burden to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that article 14 is unconstitutional.In 2016, the legislature enacted article 14, which authorizes and regulates IFS contests, upon determining that IFS contests are not unconstitutional gambling activities because they are skill-based competitions in which contestants have some influence over the outcome of the fantasy contests. At issue was whether the legislature properly determined that IFS contests authorized in article 14 are not unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals held that the legislature's conclusion that IFS contests are not "gambling" is consistent with precedent delineating the parameters of that term. View "White v. Cuomo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order dismissing Appellant's complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, holding that there was no error.Appellant was cited for aiding and abetting two individuals in his boat who were violating Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AG&FC) Regulation N1.03(B)(3)(i)(b), which prohibits using barbed hooks in designated areas, and Regulation 1.00-C. Appellant filed a complaint seeking declaratory judgment that the two regulations are unconstitutional because they are in direct conflict with Ark. Code Ann. 35, 8. The circuit court dismissed the complaint, determining that there was no conflict between the AG&FC regulations and the Arkansas Constitution. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the regulations in question were not unconstitutional. View "Peveto v. State" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, two American Indian tribes, business entities affiliated with the tribes, and individual tribe members, sued a number of non-tribal cardrooms alleging they were offering banked card games on non-tribal land, in violation of the exclusive right of Indian tribes to offer such games. Based on those allegations, plaintiffs asserted claims for public nuisance, unfair competition, declaratory and injunctive relief, and tortious interference with a contractual relationship and prospective economic advantage. The defendants demurred and, after two rounds of amendments to the complaint, the trial court sustained the third and final demurrer without leave to amend and entered judgment of dismissal. The court ruled that, as governmental entities, the Indian tribes and their affiliated business entities were not “persons” with standing to sue under the unfair competition law (UCL), and were not “private person[s]” with standing under the public nuisance statutes. The court further ruled the business entities and the individual tribe members failed to plead sufficient injury to themselves to establish standing to sue under the UCL or the public nuisance statutes. Although plaintiffs broadly framed the issue on appeal as whether they, as American Indians, had standing to redress their grievances in California state courts, the Court of Appeal determined it was much narrower: whether the complaint in this case adequately plead the asserted claims and contained allegations sufficient to establish the threshold issue of whether any of the named plaintiffs had standing to bring those claims. The Court agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that the complaint did not do so and, therefore, affirmed judgment in favor of the defendants. View "Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians etc. v. Flynt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's order finding that both Rule 2.13(b)(5) of the Casino Gaming Rules and Ark. Code Ann. 27-117-101(b) are unconstitutional, holding that the circuit court erred.In 2019, the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) adopted Rule 2.13(5)(b) (the Rule) of the ARC-Casino Gaming Rules, which provides that letters of support must be from the county judge, quorum court, or mayor holding office at the time of the submission of an application for a casino license. The General Assembly subsequently passed Act 371 of 2019 (the Act), which was identical to Rule 2.13(5)(b) and is codified at Ark. Code Ann. 23-117-101. Appellant applied for a casino license in May 2019, but the application was denied. Appellant filed the underling litigation challenging the denial of a license and the constitutionality of the Act. The circuit court declared that Rule and the Act were unconstitutional because they imposed an additional qualification to Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 100. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Rule is consistent with Amendment 100 and does not impose an additional requirement; and (2) the Act is consistent with Amendment 100 and does not impose an additional requirement. View "Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC v. Gulfside Casino Partnership" on Justia Law

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court previously declared that certain tribal gaming compacts the Oklahoma Executive branch entered into with the Comanche and Otoe-Missouria Tribes were invalid under Oklahoma law because the gaming compacts authorized certain forms of Class III gaming prohibited by state law. While "Treat I" was pending before the Supreme Court, the Executive branch entered into two additional compacts with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town. The parties to the compacts submitted the tribal gaming compacts to the United States Department of the Interior, and the Department of the Interior deemed them approved by inaction, only to the extent they are consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The Oklahoma Supreme Court determined these new compacts were also not valid: for the new compacts to be valid under Oklahoma law, the Executive branch must have negotiated the new compacts within the statutory bounds of the Model Tribal Gaming Compact (Model Compact) or obtained the approval of the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations. Without proper approval by the Joint Committee, the new tribal gaming compacts were invalid under Oklahoma law. View "Treat v. Stitt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that the Governor acted lawfully when he concurred in the determination of the United States Secretary of the Interior (Interior Secretary) to allow casino-style gaming on tribal trust land in California, holding that California law empowers the Governor to concur.Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., the Interior Secretary may permit gaming on certain land taken into federal trust for an Indian tribe so long as the Governor of the state where the land is located concurs. At issue was whether the California Governor has the authority to concur in the Interior Secretary's determination to allow gaming on tribal trust land in California where the California Constitution has not granted explicit authority to concur in the cooperative-federalism scheme. The Supreme Court held that because the California Constitution, as amended in 2000, permits casino-style gaming under certain conditions on Indian and tribal lands and the Legislature imposed no restriction to the Governor's concurrence power, the Governor acted lawfully in concurring in the Interior Secretary's determination. View "United Auburn Indian Community of Auburn Rancheria v. Newsom" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction in an action challenging Arizona Revised Statute 5-112(U). Section 5-112(U) requires, among other things, that any simulcast of live horseracing into Arizona that originates outside the state "must be offered to each commercial live-racing permittee … and additional wagering facility" in the state.The panel held that the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 (IHA) does not preempt section 5-112(U). The panel also held that Monarch, a simulcast purchaser and sales agent for racetracks, and Laurel Park, a Maryland racetrack whose races Monarch simulcasts, had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims. The panel explained that the IHA does not address how the states can regulate simulcasts, and the Arizona statute does not address Laurel Park's statutory right to consent before interstate wagering on its races can be conducted. Therefore, it is not facially impossible to comply with both laws. Furthermore, the Arizona statute does not frustrate the intent of the IHA.The panel rejected plaintiffs' contention that section 5-112(U) is an unconstitutional regulation on commercial speech and a forbidden content-based restriction; rejected plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment and Due Process challenges; held that the Arizona statute does not violate the Dormant Commerce Clause; and held that the statute did not give rise to a Contract Clause claim. View "Monarch Content Management LLC v. Arizona Department of Gaming" on Justia Law

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Through mediation efforts in connection with a federal lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Respondent, the Honorable J. Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma, negotiated and entered into new tribal gaming compacts with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes to increase state gaming revenues. The tribal gaming compacts were submitted to the United States Department of the Interior, and the Department of the Interior deemed them approved by inaction, only to the extent they were consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes were not parties to this matter; these tribes were sovereign nations and have not submitted to the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The limited question presented to the Oklahoma Supreme Court was whether Governor Stitt had the authority to bind the State with respect to the new tribal gaming compacts with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes. To this, the Supreme Court held he did not. The tribal gaming compacts Governor Stitt entered into with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes authorized certain forms of Class III gaming, including house-banked card and table games and event wagering. Any gaming compact to authorize Class III gaming had to be validly entered into under state law, and it was Oklahoma law that determined whether the compact was consistent with the IGRA. The tribal gaming compacts Governor Stitt entered into with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes were invalid under Oklahoma law. The State of Oklahoma was not and could not be legally bound by those compacts until such time as the Legislature enacted laws to allow the specific Class III gaming at issue, and in turn, allowing the Governor to negotiate additional revenue. View "Treat v. Stitt" on Justia Law

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Section 1513 of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act prevents the plaintiffs from making political contributions because they hold interests in businesses that have gaming licenses. They sued, claiming First Amendment and Equal Protection violations. The district court concluded that Section 1513 furthers a substantially important state interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption but ruled that the restriction is unconstitutional because the Commonwealth did not draw it closely enough. The court permanently enjoined the enforcement of Section 1513.The Third Circuit affirmed. Limitations on campaign expenditures are subject to strict scrutiny. The government must prove that the regulations promote a “compelling interest” and are the “least restrictive means to further the articulated interest.” Even applying an intermediate threshold, examining whether the statute is “closely drawn,” the Commonwealth does not meet its burden. The overwhelming majority of states with commercial, non-tribal casino gambling like Pennsylvania do not have any political contribution restrictions that apply specifically to gaming industry-related parties. The Commonwealth’s implicit appeal to “common sense” as a surrogate for evidence in support of its far-reaching regulatory scheme is noteworthy in light of the approach taken by most other similarly situated states. View "Deon v. Barasch" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, alleging California Business & Professions Code 19858 and 19858.5 as facially unconstitutional under the Dormant Commerce Clause. The district court dismissed the action as time-barred.The panel reversed and held that, although it has not applied a state statute of limitations to a facial challenge under the Dormant Commerce Clause, it saw no reason to treat such a claim differently from facial constitutional claims under the First, Fifth, or Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore, consistent with its case law, the panel held that plaintiffs' claims were subject to the forum state's statute of limitations. In this case, the relevant statute of limitations was two years. The panel held that, assuming for the sake of analysis that sections 19858 and 19858.5 violate the Dormant Commerce Clause, plaintiffs have demonstrated a continuing violation. Therefore, plaintiffs' injuries fell within the relevant statutory period and the district court erred by concluding otherwise. View "Flynt v. Shimazu" on Justia Law