Boston Expands Lawsuit Against Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is sueing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission over their decision to award a license to a Wynn casino task in Everett.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is not happy in regards to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision to award a casino to Wynn Resorts in Everett.

On Wednesday, that displeasure was expressed via an expanded form of the lawsuit the city had already filed against the state gaming commission, one that accuses the board of violating Massachusetts’ casino legislation and the commission’s own guidelines on how to award licenses to prospective casino operators.

According to a report by Andrea Estes of the Boston Globe, the new lawsuit claims that the commission broke rules on a few occasions in an endeavor to make sure that the Wynn project would be chosen over a Mohegan Sun-backed proposal at Suffolk Downs in Revere.

The city of Boston could have received $18 million per from the Suffolk Downs casino thanks to an agreement negotiated between the city and the developers of that resort year.

However, no such deal was made between the town and Wynn Resorts, meaning that the video gaming commission’s decision to provide the license towards the Everett casino might have cost the city significant income.

Boston Alleges 16 Prohibited Actions

The new form of the issue is similar to the lawsuit that is original by the city of Boston back in January.

However, the new lawsuit is now 158 pages long and includes more than 80 exhibits that document what city officials say are 16 actions by the gambling payment that violate the law.

Perhaps the most allegation that is high-profile the suit is that representatives of Wynn Resorts knew that criminals had owned the land they purchased on which they planned to create their casino.

Convicted felon Charles Lightbody is alleged to possess continued to help keep an ownership stake into the land until at least 2013, and he and two members of FBT Realty are under indictment for allegedly covering up that fact.

The new lawsuit says, Wynn should have been disqualified from receiving a casino license because of those associations.

Commission Denies Wrongdoing

Massachusetts Gaming Commission representative Elaine Driscoll said that the board had maybe not yet seen the version that is newest associated with the lawsuit, but that the allegations against the panel were unfounded.

‘The payment made each permit award based solely on a careful, objective, and evaluation that is highly transparent of gaming proposal,’ said Driscoll.

‘Our company is confident that this complex certification procedure was administered in a comprehensive and reasonable manner, although disappointing to interested parties looking for an alternate result.’

In the lawsuit that is original filed in early January, Mayor Walsh asked a court to rule that Boston has the right to a binding vote on the development.

That will be the form of oversight energy Boston would have if it were to certainly be a host community for the casino; during the minute, the gaming commission has considered Boston a surrounding community, which allows the city to have some rights in regards to being compensated for problems brought on by the casino, but does not allow it to veto the project.

The Wynn casino in Everett has hit some blocks that are stumbling without working with a lawsuit from Boston.

The Wynn attempted to buy land from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, but state officials are keeping up that sale until a review that is environmental be performed, although the state Inspector General is also investigating whether the sale violated general public bidding laws.

Kansas Legalizes Fantasy Sports As Games Of Ability

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, whom legalized fantasy activities leagues into the state this week. (Image: politico.com)

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Kansas has legalized Fantasy Sports leagues following the passage of the bill, HB 2155, that officially declares them to be games of skill.

The new legislation, which had been passed with a large majority in each chamber, was signed into law this week by Governor Sam Brownback and puts a conclusion to years of appropriate opacity about them.

In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prohibits online sports betting at a federal level, added a carve-out for fantasy recreations, and allowed its legality to be decided by specific states.

The predominance of chance over skill in a game with a consideration and a prize renders it an illegal lottery while Kansas had for a long time stayed silent on the topic, under state law.

The Kansas Constitution enables only the state to operate games suitable this meaning of a lottery.

Experience or Chance?

The question, then, was whether there is more chance than skill in fantasy activities, and this was the concern put to your Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC), which ruled final summer time that dream sports leagues were certainly predominantly luck, and therefore illegal.

‘[i]f a fantasy activities league has a buy-in (no matter what it’s called) … and offers a prize, then all three elements of a lottery that is illegal happy,’ it concluded.

While there was no subsequent legal enforcement with this, and certainly no prosecution of players, the ruling prompted lots of the biggest fantasy recreations operators to refuse to permit real-money participation from residents of their state.

In late January, however, Kansas State Representative Brett Hildabrand introduced a HB 2155 to directly challenge the KRGC’s ruling.

The language of the bill defined dream activities leagues specifically as a game in which skill predominates, and demanded they be exempt through the state’s anti-gambling lottery laws.

Brand New Definition

The bill’s new meaning proposed that ‘all winning outcomes [in fantasy recreations] reflect the relative knowledge and skill regarding the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individual athletes in numerous real-world sports.’

In April Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt agreed, stating, ‘We believe if dream sports leagues fall within the definition provided in 2015 Senate Substitute for HB 2155, then fantasy sports leagues are games of ability and so are not a lottery.

‘Our conclusion is bolstered by the fact that the UIGEA also specifically excludes fantasy sports leagues from the federal definition of betting,’ he continued. ‘Under federal legislation, Congress has determined that fantasy sports leagues are games of skill.’

Kansas becomes the first state to legalize dream sports since Maryland in 2012, although similar legislative efforts may also be underway in Indiana, Iowa, Montana and Washington.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval Offers Thumb Up to Skill-Based Slot Machines

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed into law legislation that would allow slot machines to feature skill-based elements that effect a new player’s results. (Image: Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The Silver State’s governor, Brian Sandoval, is no stranger to trend-setting gaming legislation. After all, along with Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell, Sandoval was the first to create player compacts to online video gaming. Now, he’s added something new to his John Hancocks: skill-based slots.

Slot machines are generally thought of being a casino’s ultimate games of luck: a lever is pulled by you to see what happens, with small the player can perform to influence the end result. But a brand new piece of legislation in Nevada aims to change that by allowing for skill-based elements to be placed in slot machines.

Sandoval finalized Senate Bill 9 on Thursday, allowing the state’s gaming regulators to adopt rules that would allow for skill to play a role into the outcome of electronic games. Sandoval said that the bill was required to maintain the landscape that is changing of gambling world.

‘ In an effort for our state to sustain its edge within an increasingly competitive gaming industry, we must continue steadily to expand, evolve, and embrace the potentials found within the 21st century,’ Sandoval said in a statement. ‘This bill allows gaming manufacturers to utilize cutting-edge technology to meet with the challenges prompted by a younger, more technologically engaged visitor demographic.’

Bill Targets Young Gamblers

The bill ended up being designed to greatly help games that normally appeal to an older audience locate a way to get in touch with younger gamblers who have traditionally shied far from slot devices, alternatively preferring games like blackjack or poker that permit them in order to make decisions that impact the outcome of each game. The skill elements could also integrate arcade-like games, something with which young gamblers are likely to own a lot of familiarity.

The bill was seemingly a no-brainer for Nevada. Both houses of the continuing state legislature passed the bill unanimously, and Sandoval had lent his support to it aswell.

AGEM Calls Bill ‘Monumental’

This legislation was initially proposed by the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), which said that the bill could change what it eventually means to play slots in a casino.

‘I think we will look back on the passage of SB9 as a monumental moment for the video gaming industry and its overall evolution,’ said AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater following bill’s passage by both homes of the state legislature. ‘The slot floor will not transform overnight, but this will allow our industry to capitalize on radical new gaming ideas and technologies and offer AGEM members the capability to unleash a brand new degree of creativity due to their casino customers.’

The American Gaming Association (AGA) also stood behind the bill, saying it hoped other states with casinos would follow in Nevada soon’s footsteps.

‘We applaud Nevada’s leadership on this bill which will enable innovation among video gaming equipment manufacturers and suppliers which help gaming reach a key customer demographic,’ said AGA CEO Geoff Freeman.

Skill-Based Bonus Rounds Likely Quickly

It is hard to say precisely how innovative game creators will manage to be under this law that is new. However, the industry has given some indications of what at least the very first generation of skill-based games might look like.

One possibility would be to create skill-based bonus rounds, which means that there were variable payouts based on how good a person is at a particular mini-game. One instance that AGEM has used is a video slot that would offer an 88 percent payback as a base, but would incorporate a skill game that, for specialist players, could increase that to as much as 98 percent.

One idea floated by AGEM happens to be elements that are skill pit players against one another, perhaps in a race. That may potentially open up the possibility for machines that were both profitable for the casino and for the most skilled players, if casinos desired to supply such games.