The field of Gaming Law is a diverse subject area of law which encompasses the licensing of companies and individuals who seek the granting of a gaming license in order to conduct lawful business operations in the regulated gaming jurisdictions of the global gaming industry. Significant detail and disclosure requirements are addressed relating to the background and history of the applicant company and its officers, directors, key employees and certain equity interests with the preparation and submission of personal history disclosures and personal financial disclosures of the applicant, in addition to the corporate structure and the business and financial suitability of the applicant company.
Requires ongoing oversight and guidance in timely and fully addressing the conduct of its business operations
Your company should be aware of its needs for intellectual property protection of its designs, inventions and products.
The operation of a successful gaming company may include your desire to license the technology of other individuals or companies who possess some product or components which will enhance and support the operation of your own product.
A successful gaming company which seeks to introduce its product into a regulated gaming jurisdiction will not only want to consider its licensing requirements
The field of Gaming Law is a developing area of business and applicable law. I will assist you and your company in gaining a greater understanding of the current requirements, restrictions and the business and legal direction that the global gaming industry operates under in your seeking desired corporate objectives in Native American Gaming, Pari-Mutuel Gaming, Sports Betting, Lotteries and Internet Gaming.
All American law schools require a course called something like “Legal Ethics.” The class typically focuses on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct for practicing attorneys and helps students prepare for one part of the bar examination process, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). The MPRE is a sixty-question, two-hour, multiple-choice examination that is designed “to measure the examinee’s knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer’s professional conduct.” As the administrators of the MPRE openly acknowledge, the “MPRE is not a test to determine an individual’s personal ethical values.” Rather, the test is “based on the law governing the conduct of lawyers.”
While it is understandable that law schools may emphasize the Model Rules of Professional Conduct for their students, this vision of ethics is far too narrow for those involved in the gaming industry. Given the range of careers in gaming, it is important to recognize that in addition to rules of ethics for lawyers, there is an ethic that informs many aspects of the gaming industry. This ethic often is not codified by law but is functionally affected by one’s role in the industry. Whatever one’s role might be, careful attention to values of fairness, balance, and morality helps to foster a more positive image of the industry as a form of regulated entertainment. This image is in marked contrast to the one that previously associated gaming with organized crime and unsavory individuals, and where questions as to the basic immorality of gambling were prominent. Ultimately, the “personal ethical values” of all in the gaming industry are tested and judged by society. This article will address a few of the settings where how we discharge our responsibilities plays a critical role in how our industry is perceived.
The Manufacturer The first situation we consider involves a manufacturer of gaming hardware, that is, the cabinet that a game board is integrated into in order to create the completed gaming device. In some instances the gaming hardware manufacturer may design and manufacture the gaming cabinets and market the content of the customer’s game contained inside the cabinet. By integrating the games into the cabinets and displaying them at gaming expositions, the manufacturer may give added exposure to the customer’s game and help increase the market audience. This exposure redounds to the benefit of the hardware manufacturer as well if it causes the customer to order additional products from the manufacturer.
Does the gaming cabinet manufacturer in this situation have ethical obligations? To whom would they be owed? Even in the absence of specific statutes or regulations as to what game content may be publicly displayed, a manufacturer would have an ethical obligation not to display game content that might be attractive to an under-age audience. Along the same lines, what about game content that displayed matching symbols of partially clothed men or women as a primary game, with a secondary game involving animated rabbits? Though the manufacturer may not be prohibited from displaying this content, it might well conclude as a matter of ethics and standards of decency that such content was sexist and cast men or women in a bad light.
Also, a cabinet manufacturer will likely be applying the proprietary designs of several of its customers in the manufacturing process. While these designs are subject to intellectual property and patent protections, a scrupulous and ethical manufacturer will take steps to maintain the confidentiality of this information. For example, work will be segregated by customer, and access to the factory manufacturing floor will be carefully limited. Advanced scheduling of visits to the factory, a log which documents the company or entity that a visitor represents, and maintenance of overall security are steps reflecting an awareness of the critical role of ethics and confidentiality in the manufacturing process.
The Casino The second setting for observing an ethic that informs gaming involves the casino itself. The goal of a casino owner and operator is to attract customers to and maintain their interest in the casino’s gaming machines and table games. Each game on the floor of a bricks and mortar casino must maintain a certain level of profit. This is based upon the win per day, per unit, and meeting or exceeding what is referred to as the “house average.” A profitable casino is one that attracts customers, offers games that have “player appeal,” and has a management team that develops and executes a good marketing plan, and makes intelligent line item budget decisions.
Where do ethics enter the decision-making process of casino owners and operators? The pursuit of the business objective—to create a financially successful and profitable casino enterprise, and provide partners and investors a reasonable return on their investment—needs to be balanced by concerns about taking advantage of vulnerable players. Vulnerable players are those who are inclined to spend more money gambling than their reasonable discretionary entertainment budget can support.
One specific example of the interests that need to be weighed in this situation concerns the placement of automatic teller machines (ATM) on the casino floor. From an operations point of view, the ATM provides a quick means for players to access cash from their personal bank accounts in order to play in the casino. The surcharge on each transaction becomes another income stream to the casino, an income stream that is a function of whether the ATM is owned by the casino, is leased, or is vendor operated.
From an ethical perspective, however, some casino operators might conclude that placement of an ATM on the casino floor provides too strong of an inducement for a player to gamble beyond his means. Locating the ATM off the casino floor gives a player an opportunity to reflect before withdrawing more cash to gamble. While this may be regarded as inconvenient to, and by, the player, it is a measured step to blunt the momentum that often accompanies excessive, that is, “problem” gambling. Some might argue that this is a vain effort to protect the player against himself. But it also reflects a process of making business judgments in a considered manner with ethical concerns being put in the balance.
Such judgments are also made by regulators. Current technology exists which would provide connectivity between a specific gaming device and a player’s personal credit or debit card. But regulators are properly concerned that this provides too ready a means for problem gamblers to access their funds. All members of the gaming industry are concerned about problem gambling. Some of the concern relates to a fear that problem gambling damages the industry’s image and can lead to oppressive regulation. But this does not detract from the fact that ethical considerations should be a conscious part of the decision-making process for all people in the gaming industry.
The Promoters Another issue that broadly implicates ethics in gaming relates to the promotion of legislation that would create or expand gaming in a jurisdiction. Those in the gaming industry need to be sensitive to concerns of how pervasive gaming activities should be in a community. For example, questions of geographic separation and concentration are the subject of legislative and regulatory actions often initiated by those seeking to develop casino properties. There is an important balance to strike in providing attractive opportunities for business operators and investors, but in such a way that lessens the overall impact on the community. This can include measures such as zoning ordinances that restrict billboard placement of advertising for gaming operations and location restrictions connected to the proximity to a school, church or synagogue. These actions need to be grounded on, among other factors, an ethic of concern for the overall well-being of the community. A responsible and measured approach that acknowledges these considerations will still permit the industry to expand and flourish.
The Compliance Committee Member Finally, membership on a gaming compliance committee implicates a number of ethical obligations. A person may learn of sensitive information pertaining to the company’s internal or financial operations that cannot be disclosed to anyone outside the compliance committee. The obligation one owes as an attorney or as a business executive to maintain a high standard of ethics and to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive company information is paramount in maintaining the confidential interests of the parties involved.
Conclusion A focus on an ethic of responsibility and balance by those in the gaming industry is not only the “right thing to do,” it will enhance the public’s perception of the industry. Rather than being an impediment to the gaming industry, this attention to ethics will promote a more durable, trusted, and yes, profitable enterprise.
Keith Miller is the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Law at Drake University. He teaches in the gaming law area. Professor Miller is co-author of the casebook, The Law of Gambling and Regulated Gaming, published in 2010 by Carolina Academic Press. Professor Miller is Vice-President of Educator Affiliates for the International Masters of Gaming Law, the editor of the IMGL Global Gaming Law and Regulations, and the author of numerous articles on gaming law.
Glenn Wichinsky is a second-generation member of the gaming industry and has worked in many facets of the industry. Mr. Wichinsky has been a licensed manufacturer, distributor and operator of electronic gaming equipment, has owned and operated two licensed casinos in the State of Nevada, and was a partner and a gaming law specialist for the national law firm of Howard & Howard. He now is President and General Counsel of Cole Kepro International, a major manufacturer of gaming cabinets with offices and facilities located in Las Vegas and in Taiwan. https://globalgaminglawyer.com
Andrew Boros handles cases involving catastrophic personal injury, automobile accidents, wrongful death, slip and fall, medical malpractice, construction accidents and other serious matters involving negligence.
As a Miami Personal Injury Attorney, Mr. Boros has extensive experience in the handling of these matters which enables him to effectively deal with the courts, insurance defense attorneys and insurance companies.
He has cultivated a vast network of highly qualified experts in the fields of medicine, accident reconstruction, physical rehabilitation, economists and other disciplines who are called upon to testify on his client’s behalf.
Andrew Boros has a reputation of extraordinary success, client satisfaction and aggressive advocacy. His investment in time and resources assures that maximum results are achieved. His primary goal and objective is to achieve the highest financial award for each client.
There is no charge for consultation. Because cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis there is no legal fee unless there is a financial recovery.
Filing for a divorce can be a stressful and traumatic experience. I view it as a sensitive matter that can be handled confidentially and requires a full understanding of the situation with your objective expectations.
We will work together so you will be able to develop reasonable goals and a strategy calculated to succeed in obtaining the best possible resolution of your divorce or related matters.
Before filing for a divorce in Florida two requirements have to be met.
Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, the only ground needed to obtain a divorce is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” It can’t be fixed or put back together.
Further, one of the parties to the marriage must have resided in the State of Florida for six months before filing the petition for dissolution of marriage.
I am focused on helping my clients resolve divorce disputes through mediation. The advantages of mediation include:
It is voluntary and non-binding
The parties control the scheduling and can expedite resolutions, if desired
The process may be less stressful than a trial or other court hearing;
Mediation is generally more cost-effective than contested litigation
If matters cannot be resolved through mediation, I have the knowledge and expertise and supporting staff to litigate all matters before the trial judge.
You may contact me for a confidential conversation about your situation and how I can help you.
Andrew Boros has over 30 years of extensive trial law experience in the State of Florida.
Andrew H. Boros is a graduate of the University of Miami and South Texas College of Law. Prior to entering law school Mr. Boros was employed as the lead Crime Scene Investigator by the Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Department which provided him with an in-depth knowledge of how the police conduct investigations and how prosecutors prepare their cases for trial.. After graduating from law school in 1976 he was hired and trained by Gerald Kogan who attained the eminent position of Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, now retired.
Andrew Boros represents South Florida clients in the following areas:
Florida Divorce Law
Catastrophic Personal Injury
Slip and Fall
Mr. Boros is a Martindale & Hubbell “AV” rated Miami Attorney specializing in litigating complex cases primarily concerning personal injury, medical malpractice, matrimonial and criminal.
You may contact Mr Andrew Boros for a confidential discussion concerning your legal issues.
Andrew H. Boros, Esq., Attorney at Law 2333 Brickell Avenue, Suite A-1, Miami, Florida 33129 Phone: (305) 854-8689 http://www.andrewboros.com/
The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us about our qualifications and experience.
Prenuptial agreements, sometimes referred to as premarital agreements, antenuptial agreements, or prenups, are contracts written prior to a marriage to address the issues of property division and spousal support if there is a divorce.
There are a number of reasons to have a prenuptial agreement;
Coming into a marriage with significant assets
Protecting the inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage
Protecting an inheritance or anticipated inheritance
Trust funds, and protecting assets which are premarital
Postnuptial agreements are contracts written after the marriage ceremony and are similar in content to prenuptial agreements.
Andrew H. Boros, Esq., Attorney at Law 2333 Brickell Avenue, Suite A-1, Miami, Florida 33129 Phone: (305) 854-8689