Justia Gaming Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Sterling Suffolk Racecourse v. Wynn Resorts, Ltd.
The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting Defendants' motion to dismiss this action brought under the civil portion of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1964(c), holding that Plaintiff had not and could not meet the causation of injury requirements set forth at 18 U.S.C. 1964(c).In 2014, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted a gaming license to Wynn, MA, LLC, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts, Ltd. (collectively, Wynn), allowing Wynn to construct a casino in Everett, Massachusetts. Mohegan Sun Massachusetts had also applied for a license and had proposed a casino facility on a site in East Boston owned by Plaintiff, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC. Plaintiff brought this action alleging that Defendants, including Wynn, conspired to deprive Mohegan of a gaming license, therefore costing Sterling the opportunity to least its site to Mohegan. The district court dismissed the action. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff could not show a "direct injury" from Wynn's actions, and so its RICO claims failed as a matter of law. View "Sterling Suffolk Racecourse v. Wynn Resorts, Ltd." on Justia Law
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head
In this litigation surrounding the development of a gaming facility on the trust lands of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head, Inc., and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Gaming Corporation (collectively, the Tribe) the First Circuit affirmed the amended final judgment of the district court as to a permitting issue, holding that the district court did not err.The Tribe planned to build a gaming facility on its trust lands in Dukes County, Massachusetts, but the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Town of Aquinnah, and the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association sought to put a halt to the development until the Tribe complied with municipal and Commonwealth regulations that they claimed were applicable. At issue was whether a party who did not raise a particular issue, the permitting issue, in the first appeal to the First Circuit, though it could have, could do so on a successive appeal. The district court held that the Tribe had forfeited or waived the issue by not appealing the permitting issue. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that this case did not qualify as one involving an exceptional circumstance, and therefore, the permitting issue could not be raised on appeal. View "Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head" on Justia Law
New Hampshire Lottery Commission v. Rosen
The First Circuit held that the Wire Act's prohibitions are limited to interstate wire communications related to bets or wagers on sporting events or contests, thus affirming the district court's grant of Plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment.In 2011, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a legal opinion concluding that the Wire Act's prohibitions were uniformly limited to sports gambling. In 2018, the OLC issued an opinion, which was later adopted by the DOJ, that all prohibitions in the Wire Act, with one exception, applied to all forms of bets or waters. In 2019, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and one of its vendors commenced this action seeking relief under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act. The district court granted relief, ruling that the Wire Act was limited to sports gambling. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) this controversy is justiciable; and (2) the Wire Act applies only to interstate wire communications related to sporting events or contests. View "New Hampshire Lottery Commission v. Rosen" on Justia Law