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Political eBriefs 2016

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, April 7, 2016

“We think given the lay of the land here it’s time to take it to the next generation of adventure park. Elements of this are being built out on the East Coast, but nobody’s really done it holistically, and we think your location is perfect for that. We can leverage the casino meeting space, we can leverage the restaurants, and we can start to downsize some of the things we would typically build in the creation of a destination resort.” Tom Pientka, CEO of the engineering company Iconica, which is working on the Cherokee’s plan to build a one-of-a-kind family adventure park, in Smoky Mountain News --- “The Las Vegas Paiute Council spent over a year discussing their plans with government officials, lawyers, and cannabis industry experts, as well as making many visits to out-of-state medical marijuana dispensaries and farms. Ultra Health will help develop and manage the facilities, making this a lucrative opportunity that will help the development of the tribe. With fewer than 100 members, the tribe voted to carry out these plans with much enthusiasm which is something that would not have happened just a few short years ago.” Zoe Wilder on the Paiute’s proposed facility, which will be the largest medical marijuana facility in Nevada, with at least two dispensaries and three greenhouses, in Merry Jane

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, April 7, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, April 6, 2016

“There are no objections to regulation. These [daily fantasy] companies are based here in the United States and pay taxes, and they want a well-regulated industry. We all just want to make sure legislators get it right.” Chris Grimm, an organizer with the advocacy group that rallied in support of daily fantasy sports at the Orioles home opener, in Press Box --- “If you’re a disruptive company, you will eventually run into some sort of regulation issues. Certain parts of the legal case in New York have been settled … and there’s the possibility to produce some legislation.” FanDuel’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer Tom Griffiths says the daily fantasy sports game company’s legal problems could be behind them, in Daily News

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, April 5, 2016

“We continue to see tremendous support for fantasy sports in legislatures across the country, with nearly 30 states advancing thoughtful and appropriate regulations for fantasy play. [W]e will work closely with the NCAA and lawmakers on a carve-out for collegiate sports in any proposed regulatory framework moving forward. DraftKings is committed to ensuring that fantasy sports players are able to continue to play these skill-based contests that bring them closer to the sports that they love.” DraftKings statement on the company's agreement to stop offering college competitions, in ESPN --- “The idea of taxing free play makes little or no sense. It is counterproductive. It will cost the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in terms of tax revenue and will steal dollars away from reinvesting in properties.” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association said Pennsylvania’s proposed 8 percent tax would force casinos to cut back on the promotional play they offer and reduce revenues to the state, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, April 4, 2016

“If this new North Fork scheme goes through, it will make tribal gaming a free-for-all in California. Farmlands, urban centers, and even open lots in neighborhoods could be considered as potential sites for new casinos, and the taxpayers of California will be virtually powerless to stop it.” Chukchansi Tribal Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales in The Fresno Bee --- “Every tribal leader across the nation should be deeply concerned about the principle being suggested by this effort, namely allowing the legislatures and citizens of all 50 states to weigh in on tribal rights and application of laws differently among tribes.” North Fork Tribal Chairwoman Maryann McGovran in World Casino News

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, April 4, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 31, 2016

“A lot of this is new. We’ve spoken to lawmakers in Virginia and Indiana, and most of them are not aware of the scope of the fantasy sports industry. They’re really not aware that these bills could and will impact small companies like ours. So I think when they do find out about it, they’re very open to understanding that clearly if there’s going to be legalization of FanDuel and DraftKings, you can’t while legalizing them put out of business the rest of the industry.” Alex Kaganovsky, who owns Fantasy Football Players Championship, which he said employees three people full-time, in The Times Union --- “If you look at what’s going on across the country, there are bills for daily fantasy sports in just about every state Capitol. Most of them are going to capture [large and small companies]. So if we’re going to be captured, we want to have basically uniform language in all those states. If we get the right language here that satisfies the big companies and the small companies, that should become the model that we carry throughout the rest of the nation.” Steve Brubaker, a consultant for the small business trade association, said members had not been contacted by the attorney general’s office and they were still operating in New York, in The Times Union

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 31, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, March 30, 2016

“As always, I continue to be dedicated to doing the right thing for Amaya and all its stakeholders. I believe that stepping down in the short term will help to avoid distraction for the company and its management while I vigorously contest all allegations made against me and pursue my bid to acquire the company.” Amaya CEO David Baazov’s statement regarding his indefinite paid lead of absence from the company in the wake of allegations of insider trading, in Amaya’s press release --- “This is an impressive example of a company's commitment to being responsive to its regulators. The fact that this process took place in only five months is a credit to all the parties involved here.” Former Attorney General Martha Coakley, now an adviser to DraftKings, said of the Massachusetts regulations that are endorsed by DraftKings, in Courthouse News Service “Small businesses have been the lifeblood of the fantasy industry for decades. In fact, smaller daily fantasy sports and season fantasy sports businesses have been operating in New York for many years with thousands of New York customers who have been enjoying our products.” Alex Kagonovsky, managing partner of Fantasy Football Players Championship, in Syracuse.com

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, March 29, 2016

“Amaya CEO David Baazov stands accused of funneling insider info regarding transactions with Amaya and six other companies to his older brother Josh Baazov, who in turn passed the info on to his former bookmaking partner Craig Levett, who used the info to make stock trades that netted Levett and a dozen accomplices an estimated $1.5m in ill-gotten profits.” Steven Stradbrooke in CalvinAyre.com --- “The latest news reveals that the older brother of Baazov was illegally funneling insider company information to his brother’s bookmaking partner. It appears that the CEO was passing privileged details regarding the company’s business transactions to Josh Baazov. The findings so far reveal that the criminal activity has been going on for five years and includes a total of seven well-known companies in the gaming world.” Alex Lanter in World Casino News

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, March 28, 2016

“Given the cost constraints of our hobbyist business model, any requirement that we each pay a $50,000 licensing fee to the state of Virginia would lead us each to exit the Virginia marketplace — thus depriving hundreds of thousands of Virginia sports fans of access to play in their favorite traditional fantasy sports games.” A letter written to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, signed by four small fantasy sports operators, addressing the regulatory legislation that was recently approved in Virginia that requires a $50,000 licensing fee, in CBS Local Miami --- “RAWA still exists, so this is no victory lap. We all need to keep up the pressure on lawmakers and ensure this does not end up sneaked in later on.” Poker Players Alliance Vice President Rich Muny said of a recent report from U.S. Gambling Compliance that implies that the demise of RAWA is imminent, in Online Casino Reports

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, March 28, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Friday, March 25, 2016

“The new North Fork scheme not only ignores the will of California's voters, it would undo decades of tribal gaming regulations and open the floodgates for off-reservation casinos to go up in any land in the state. Our Tribal Council is willing to stand up and defend Tribes like ours who have followed the rules and to tell the governor and other politicians to listen to the overwhelming voice of Californians and stop the North Fork plan once and for all.” Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Tribal Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales, in Central Valley Business Times --- “Today’s news out of Indiana marks another important step in the ongoing process of creating legal clarity for fantasy sports. Momentum continues to build across the country — with more and more states enacting legislation that will allow millions of fans to continue to enjoy all the fantasy sports games they love. Throughout this process, the FSTA will continue to advocate for registration fees that neither inhibit new business nor hurt smaller fantasy sports operators.” A statement from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association on Indiana’s approval of DFS regulations, making it the second state to do so, in Legal Sports Report

CTBA Political eBrief Friday, March 25, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 24, 2016

“The Seminole tribe likes the deal we made. We want to have a good relationship with Florida and we’re still prepared to make that deal. But we’re not prepared to make it by allowing any county that passed a referendum to have slots. That kills the deal because it’s not economically feasible for the tribe.” Barry Richard, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder based in Tallahassee, who is representing the tribe in a case against the state, in Florida Politics --- “We’ve revamped the whole casino floor, added a tattoo parlor, a new bar … As the biggest resort in North America, we have an obligation to come up with a zip line that’s the highest, the longest, the fastest. It will certainly be a thrilling ride … We are trying to appeal more to that segment of the population. They’re current customers, but they’re also our future.” Felix Rappaport, president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, which announced a master plan for broadening to millennials and families, including a zip line and water park, in The Day

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 24, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“It's charges for aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya, and communicating privileged information – we’re talking about insider training.” Sylvain Theberge, a spokesperson for the Quebec regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), said about AMF’s charges against Amaya and its CEO David Baazov, in CBC Notes Montreal --- “Early Wednesday, AMF, the stock watchdog in Amaya’s home province of Quebec, filed a total of 23 charges against CEO David Baazov, Amaya staffer Benjamin Ahdoot, and Yoel Altman, a close friend of Baazov who formerly served as a financial advisor to the firm. AMF noted that some of the accused ‘conspired to commit some of the offences’ while warning that convicted offenders are ‘liable to stiff fines as well as prison terms.’” Steven Stradbrooke on the AMF’s charges, in CalvinAyre.com --- “We have made suppressing illegal insider trading and market manipulation a top priority, as this type of conduct profoundly affects public confidence and the integrity of our markets.” AMF President and CEO Louis Morisset said of the insider trader charges, in The Globe And Mail

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“The changes we’re making come out of what we’ve observed about the game. This is not a direct response to any legal pressure. We don’t have any intention to stop. We really see that our season-long and our daily platform play nicely together.” Yahoo Sports Head of Product Michael LaGuardia said of Yahoo Daily Fantasy’s three changes to their platform, in Yahoo! Finance --- “Yahoo believes that its contests are lawful, and we will continue to assess the legal environment for daily fantasy sports while providing a compelling fantasy sports experience for all of our users.” A Yahoo spokesman confirmed that the company will suspend offering daily fantasy contests to the residents of New York pending further review, in The Wall Street Journal

CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, March 21, 2016

“We are proud to be one of New York’s largest startup companies, and while it is disheartening for us to restrict access to paid contests in our home state, we believe this is in the best interest of our company, the fantasy industry and our players while we continue to pursue legal clarity in New York.” FanDuel’s statement regarding a settlement reached with the NY Attorney General, which dictates that fantasy sports sites will stop operating in New York until September, pending legislation that would otherwise allow them to, in Legal Sports Report --- “We are an industry leader in technology, innovation and consumer protections, and we are grateful to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have enjoyed playing fantasy sports on DraftKings for the last 4 years. We will continue to work with state lawmakers to enact fantasy sports legislation so that New Yorkers can play the fantasy games they love.” DraftKings’ statement on the agreement, in Legal Sports Report --- “I’m pleased to announce that both FanDuel and DraftKings will stop taking bets in New York State, consistent with the cease-and-desist orders my office issued … Today's agreement also creates an expedited path to resolve this litigation should that law change or upon a decision by the appellate division.” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s official statement on the agreement with FanDuel and DraftKings

CTBA Political eBrief Monday, March 21, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Friday, March 18, 2016

"There is not a single individual from the county, nor in the public, that would make me come to any kind of personal decision. My personal decisions I make on my own with input from my family. I guess the message that needs to be relayed is that regardless of who the tribal chairman is, I’m confident that they will continue to speak on behalf of the tribe.” Vincent Armenta resigned from his post as Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Chairman on Thursday to pursue culinary arts degree --- “The bill had a lot of ornaments added to it, and the tree eventually gets too many ornaments and it falls over.” Florida Sen. Rob Bradley, one of the Seminole compact’s sponsors, said when asked why he asked the budget committee to take a pass on the measure in Naples Herald --- “The reality of it was the tree was going to be significantly lightened, and leadership knew that. The Senate president, exercising his privilege as a caucus of one, decided to shut things down. That is the unequivocal truth.” Marc Dunbar, a partner with the Jones Walker law firm and a lobbyist who represents the Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream Park Racing in Broward County, told The News Service of Florida

CTBA Political eBrief Friday, March 18, 2016 - Read More…

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 17, 2016

“The millennial player wants something besides pressing a button or looking up and pressing another button. They want to actually control some aspect of the game. Thirty years ago, two-thirds of all gaming revenue in Las Vegas was gambling. Today it’s two-thirds from non-gaming. That includes concerts and clubs, sports bars and restaurants.” Marcus Yoder said at the National Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention happening in Phoenix this week, in KJZZ --- “I was fascinated to learn that there is an expectation in Vegas that one of the fastest growing forms of betting expected to pass slot machines is video game playing for money. A bill was passed in Las Vegas last year to allow people to wager on their skills, playing games like Guitar Hero, Angry Birds, and Tetris. [The Nevada Gaming Association still has to agree to the bill.] Gambling has come a long way. The days where you could only bet on horse racing or on football games with underground bookies are far behind us. Casinos need to find new ways to attract people to their products, and governments need people to play legally in order to collect revenue.” Hartley Henderson, an independent gambling and casino consultant, in OSGA.com

CTBA Political eBrief Thursday, March 17, 2016 - Read More…