Justia Gaming Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois
Dew-Becker v. Wu
Dew-Becker sued Wu, alleging that the two had engaged in a daily fantasy sports (DFS) contest on the FanDuel website; that Dew-Becker had lost $100 to Wu; and that the contest constituted illegal gambling so that Dew-Becker was entitled to recover the lost money under 720 ILCS 5/28-8(a). The circuit court rendered judgment in favor of Wu, finding that section 28-8(a) does not allow recovery when the gambling is not conducted between one person and another person. The appellate court affirmed.The Illinois Supreme Court agreed that recovery is unavailable. The DFS contest was not gambling under section 28-8(a). A person commits gambling if he “knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b).” Subsection (b)(2) provides an exception to gambling for a participant in any contest that offers “prizes, award[s] or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength or endurance or to the owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest.” That “DFS contests are predominately skill-based is not only widely recognized” but has created a potential revenue problem for the DFS websites. New and unskilled players are often hesitant to participate. View "Dew-Becker v. Wu" on Justia Law
J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.
The 2009 Video Gaming Act (230 ILCS 40/1)) legalized the use of video gaming terminals in licensed establishments, including bars, veterans’ organizations, and truck stops, and authorizes the Illinois Gaming Board to supervise all video gaming operations governed by the Act. A video gaming terminal may be placed in a licensed establishment only if the establishment has entered into a written use agreement with the licensed terminal operator. A use agreement may be assigned only from one licensed terminal operator to another. Action, an unlicensed terminal operator, executed “Exclusive Location and Video Gaming Terminal Agreements” with each of 10 establishments, stating that Action and the establishments would obtain licenses. In 2012 the parties amended their agreements by adding clauses, purportedly “necessary in order for the Agreement to comply with the [Act] and the rules and regulations," including clauses providing that Action could assign its rights and acknowledging that the agreement and the amendment “are subject to and contingent upon the [Gaming Board’s] review.” In 2012, the Board denied Action’s license application based on findings that Acton employees were associated with individuals who had been convicted of illegal gambling. Action assigned its rights under the agreements to J&J, a licensed operator. The establishments were not yet licensed. Subsequently, each of the establishments signed separate location agreements with Accel, a licensed operator. J&J and Action sued; the circuit courts ruled that the location agreements were not use agreements, but were valid contracts, and enjoined Accel from operating terminals at the establishments. The appellate court and the Illinois Supreme court held that the circuit courts lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because the Board has exclusive authority over contracts for the placement of video gaming terminals. The comprehensive statutory scheme vests jurisdiction over video gaming operations with the Board; the agreements purport to control placement and operation of video gaming terminals. View "J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc." on Justia Law