Seattle Trademark Lawyer
Seattle Entertainment Lawyer


Archives Filed Under 'Gambling'

Washington Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Internet Gambling

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

The Washington state supreme court last week ruled that the state’s ban on internet gambling is not unconstitutional:  http://www.casinogamblingweb.com/gambling-news/gambling-law/washington_legislature_wins_gambling_ban_case_in_supreme_court_55758.html

The Washington supreme court is likely setting a trend that will affect other states who may have similar state laws that ban internet gambling.  Until the federal unlawful internet gaming act is overturned or updated to allow the United States to profit off of the gaming industry, rather turning that income away, it looks as if people in Washington who want play online poker will be out of luck.

If you have additional questions or are in need of assistance with an important legal matter contact a Seattle Business Lawyer.

New Legislation May Lift Ban on Using American Credit Cards for Online Gambling

Saturday, May 9th, 2009
Barney Frank

Barney Frank

Currently in the United States it is illegal for Americans to use credit cards to place bets of any kind online.  This rule was enacted in 2006 under the Uniform Internet Gambling Enforcement Act  (UIGEA).  Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) seeks to repeal the UIGEA and make it possible once again for American banks to allow their customers to place bets online.  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/frank-bill-authorize-online-gambling-1282.php.

Although a person may get around the UIGEA regulations by using foreign companies to place bets; repealing the UIGEA is a much simpler alternative.  Frank argues that the government should not interfere with a persons liberty interest to make online bets.  The new legislation  is called the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act and establishes framework that would allow online operators to obtain licenses to accept bets from U.S. residents.  In order for the operators to obtain a license, they would have to meet strict requirements and pass background checks.

Allowing Americans to place wagers online while doing it in a matter that protects the consumer and requires background checks of online operators can only be beneficial.  The online gambling business currently generates $10-$12 Billion a year, and the U.S. is being cut out of the action.  This new law if enacted would be good for the U.S. economy and good for the American entrepreneurs while protecting consumers who are using foreign websites to meet their gambling needs.

Seattle Business Lawyer

Welcome to the Seattle Sports, Entertainment & Trademark Lawyer Blog

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Trademark and Copyright Attorney in Seattle WashingtonWelcome to the Symmes Law Group, PLLC’s – Sports, Entertainment & Trademark Lawyer Blog.  This is an interactive blog that details current events in sports, entertainment, and trademark law as well as discusses legal issues and projects that are currently being undertaken by Seattle trademark lawyer Richard Symmes and Symmes Law Group, PLLC.

Symmes Law Group strives to build long-term relationships with our clients throughout the Seattle metro area as well as around the world by offering unparalleled personal service.  If you are need of a legal representation in association with your trademark or entertainment matters  please contact Symmes Law Group, PLLC today at [email protected] or call 206-682-7975 to set up an initial consultation.

Is Online Gambling Safe?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

absolute-poker

ultimate-bet

CBS’s 60 Minutes recently ran a story about the $18 Billion a year online gaming industry and its lack of regulation in the U.S. due to most companies keeping their Internet servers off shore, outside of U.S. jurisdiction.  60% of gambling online servers are kept on the Mohawk Indian Tribe Reservation which is located in Canada, but is not considered a part of the country.  This means that the Mohawk tribe does not abide by Canadian law, which does not allow online gambling.

It should be noted that the 60 minutes story reports that online gambling is illegal which is not true.  Online gambling is not regulated for the most part in the U.S. by federal law, however U.S. banks are now restricted from financial involvement.

The show profiles the story of the biggest scandal in online poker history.  In this scandal former employees of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet (some professional poker players) hacked the computer systems, which allowed the employees to view opposing players cards.  The scam cheated opposing players out of potentially $20 Million and went on for 4 years.   Those cheated out of money could not recoup their money unless they could get jurisdiction over the companies through Mohawk Indian Law.  The tribe’s gaming comission ordered that the losses be repaid to those cheated, however Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet remain in business.

The Story can be found here:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4639016n

Since onlince gaming is currently unregulated those responsible for the cheating have not been criminally prosecuted.  There are several websites around that provide online gaming services and there is at the moment no way to tell if there is any cheating going on.  If cheaters don’t get greedy and make themselves obvious they will be hard to spot.  Regulation of the online gaming industry needs to happen in order to prevent more cheaters.  If there was a law in the U.S. regarding online gaming, a cheater could be prosecuted if they ever stepped foot in the U.S, giving U.S. courts jurisdiction.

I think I will stick to gambling the old fashioned way where there are rules in place to prevent cheating.  Even if I lose my money, at least I won’t be cheated.

 

Does CentSports Engage in Illegal Bookmaking?

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

centsports3I was recently hired by my colleague Chuck Humphrey over at www.gambling-law-US.com to research whether or not www.centsports.com engages in illegal bookmaking.  CentSports operates an interactive website in which the company gives players 10 cents of start up money in which to bet on sporting events.  If a player reaches $20 in winnings they may cash out their winnings if the company has enough funds to pay them off.  So the question is, is CentSports engaging in making an online sports book?

In order for an illegal book to be made, gambling must be involved and in order for an activity to be considered gambling the activity must consist of (1) Prize, (2) Chance, and (3) Consideration. The prize and chance elements would clearly be present, however the question is whether any consideration is involved.  Consideration is defined as a bargain for exchange, meaning both parties have to give something up or take a risk when making a bet.  It can be argued that centSports players are not taking any kind of risk since they are not betting with their own funds, only the funds that were deposited in their accounts by CentSports.  Furthermore they are not guaranteed to any winnings.  They will only be paid if centSports has the funding.  Therefore CentSports is most likely not engaged in illegal gambling, however a case could certainly be made for the other side.

Does CentSports violate NCAA bylaws?

CentSports is very popular across college campuses nationwide.  The website is a social networking tool and allows friends to compete against one another online and determine who has the best winning percentage when placing bets.  The NCAA membership has adopted specific rules prohibiting student-athletes, athletics department staff members, and conference office staff from engaging in sports wagering (Bylaw 10.3).  NCAA national office employees are also prohibited from engaging in sports wagering.  A violation of this law could cost a student athlete their athletic eligibility to play sports in college whereas NCAA employees would most likely be terminated.

The NCAA rules are similar to state law rules that prohibit gambling and sports wagering.  The NCAA member colleges and universities have defined sports wagering as putting something at risk – such as an entry fee – with the opportunity to win something in return.  With CentSports no entry fee is required and nothing of value is given up since the entry fee is provided and there is no guarantee of any payouts.  By definition no wager has been made.  Therefore I do not believe CentSports would violate NCAA rules as there is no consideration present, however the NCAA recently published an opinion on the matter which is discussed below.

UPDATE, 3/28/09 – The NCAA’s Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities division recently weighed in on whether CentSports violates NCAA Bylaws.  They have determined that the free 10 cents given to players is in fact considered “something of value” due to the potential payout down the road.  It is the policy of the NCAA that they do not want anybody associated with the NCAA to be involved in any sort of gambling, even if it is questionable as to whether the activities are actually gambling.  If you are an NCAA student athlete or employee of the NCAA you should refrain from using websites that engage in any sort of gambling or wagering, even if there is no guarantee of a payout.  The NCAA’s opinion on CentSports can be read in the AGA’s March 2009 newsletter available at:  http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=6685

For more information contact Seattle Attorney Richard Symmes.

Symmes Law Header Right Side

Contact


Richard J. Symmes, Esq
E-Mail :: (206) 682-7975

Seattle, Washington location:
1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, Washington   98154

Get Directions to Symmes Law Offices
Get Directions to our
Seattle Office Here

See us on:
Facebook  Twitter

Contact us online:





Call Today!

(206) 682-7975

 Symmes Law Group Logo