HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 30Global Gaming Expo Preview - State Issues

In advance of the upcoming 2015 Global Gaming Expo (”G2E”), held September 29 – October 1 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, The Michigan Gaming Newsletterhas included a review of current issues facing the gaming industry that will likely be topics of discussion during the conference. There have been several unique developments over the past year that will provide Michigan industry members opportunities for growth into new areas and for new methods of attracting customers.

Below is a brief summary of some of these issues, along with the associated events scheduled for this year’s expo. For a complete schedule of events at G2E, please click here.

Tribal Gaming

There have been several national and state-level issues facing Native American gaming activities that will have significant effects on the state’s tribal industry. In July, legislation was introduced in the US Senate that, if passed, would ease restrictions on land acquisitions in Indian Country and attempt to clarify existing laws in light of the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The bill, the Interior Improvement Act, has been referred to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The legislation may impact the current litigation surrounding the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ attempt to acquire land in downtown Lansing for a gaming facility, which is awaiting the judge’s ruling on the tribe’s request to dismiss the state-initiated lawsuit.

In addition, this year federal courts ruled in two cases involving Michigan tribes that federal labor laws apply to tribal gaming properties. Under these decisions, tribes are subject to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board and must comply with its employee organization and other labor regulations regarding tribal gaming properties.

In June, the Gun Lake Tribe ceased making tribal revenue sharing payments to the state due to its claim that the state’s iLottery violates exclusivity provisions within its compact. The decision comes amidst the state’s ongoing compact renewal negotiations with a number of Michigan tribes whose compacts expired in 2013.

Sessions that may address these issues at this year’s G2E include the following (please note that the schedule is subject to change):

· Tribal Overview: The State of Indian Gaming – September 28, 9-10am (Veronese 2402)

· Tribes and Land: Trusting the Government – September 28, 10:15-11:15am (Veronese 2402)

· State Incursions into Tribal Government Gaming: Recent Developments – September 28, 1:15-2:25pm (Veronese 2402)

· Integrated Resorts: Emergence in Indian Gaming – September 29, 11:45-12:45am (Veronese 2502)

· In-Depth Discussion: NIGC Update – September 29, 3:15-4:15pm (Veronese 2502)

· The Online Reservation: The Tribal View of iGaming – September 30, 10:30-11:30am (Veronese 2502)

For a more detailed overview of current tribal issues, please see The Michigan Gaming Newsletter’sprevious coverage in Issue 26, Volume 21 (National Issues), and Issue 27, Volume 21 (State Issues)

Fantasy Sports

On September 9, 2015, State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. introduced Senate Bill 459 which, if passed, would clarify that fantasy sports games that meet certain federal legal requirements are exempt from the state’s general Penal Code gambling prohibitions. The legislation has spurred a wide-ranging discussion across the state regarding the relationship between fantasy sports operations and current gambling laws and regulations. Similar legislation has been passed in Maryland and Kansas that specifically authorize such contests, while other jurisdictions, such as Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana do not permit fantasy sports games played for money under various state laws and attorney general opinions.

As fantasy sports operations continue to grow, the industry will likely consider if and how to incorporate these types of activities into current operation portfolios. Sessions at G2E that may be of interest to those following these developments include:

· Blurring the Lines: Lotto, Sports Betting, iGaming, Social and Fantasy Join Casinos – September 29, 10:30-11:30am (Bellini 2104)

· Regulation of Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports in the United States: Questions Abound – September 29, 11:45am-12:45pm (Marco Polo 802)

· Business Threat or Opportunity: Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy and the Ongoing Debate – September 29, 2-3pm (Titian 2301)

In addition to the issues noted above, the G2E seminars will include a range of other topics on current and potential industry developments. These topics include iGaming advances, skill-based wagering, changing consumer demographics, as well as a range of other important issues. For a complete event schedule for G2E, including information on seminars, please visit the conference website here.


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