American Bar Association
Gaming Law Committee

ABA Section of Business Law

Gaming Law Committee

Annual Meeting Recap

Last week the Business Law Section held its Annual Meeting in Chicago where the Gaming Law Committee presented two great panels on matters of current interest. Chaired by Committee leaders, the panels provided audience members with valuable information and examples on the current and future legal trends affecting the industry and advice on best practices for attorneys representing clients entering the online marketplace.

Why Your Corporate Clients' Mundane Online Presence May Trigger Several Not So Mundane Consequences.

Co- Sponsoring Committees: Cyberspace and Intellectual Property

On Friday morning, September 18th, the Gaming Committee's presented back to back programs. The day kicked off with the panel entitled, Why Your Corporate Clients' Mundane Online Presence May Trigger Several Not So Mundane Consequences.

Aptly led by Glenn Light of Lewis Rocca Rothgerber, the panel opened with the experience-based insights of Brandon Huffman of Hutchinson PLLC based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Brandon provided an abbreviated, yet informative dissertation on the "best practices" for attorneys advising online clients and the essential elements, and common mistakes, of client web pages.

John Krieger of Dickinson Wright in Las Vegas, Nevada, spoke next. John began his presentation with a tutorial on the ABC's of intellectual property and its essential terminology. He continued with advice on how to identify, and avoid, IP infringements, all providing helpful real-life examples and case law for attorneys to use as reference.

Next to speak was Marcos Vieyra, the Chief Information Security Officer for the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Carlos introduced the term "cyber-hygiene" to the audience, and explained how both businesses and individuals, regardless of their size and significance, are vulnerable to online "parasites." Taking it further, Marcos explained how, innocent security oversights can lead to significant problems for major operators and even individuals entering into the online "ecosystem."

Karl Rutledge, the program's co-sponsor and creator, closed out the panel with another informative presentation. He provided the audience with the definition of gambling, discussing each element to ensure a comprehensive understanding. Next, he explained the different definitions of gambling at the state level and how knowing these differing standards is essential to effective advocacy. He then touched on permissive skill based activities, before closing with how to advise clients conducting online sweepstakes, a discussion in which he emphasized the importance of ensuring "equal dignity" to clients offering alternative methods of entry (AMOE) as way of escaping consideration.

(L to R: Marcos Vieyra, John Krieger, Brandon Huffman, Glenn Light, and Karl Rutledge.

Managing and Navigating Legal Challenges for Online Gaming and Credit Card Transactions.

Co-Sponsoring Committees: Business & Corporate Litigation; Commercial Finance; Consumer Financial Services; and Corporate Compliance.

Next was the Committee program entitled, Managing and Navigating Legal Challenges for Online Gaming and Credit Card Transactions. Led by the program's co-chair, Kathryn Rand, Dean of University of North Dakota School of Law, this panel of gaming experts on Internet-based gambling discussed recent legal developments, fantasy contests, sports betting, credit card related transactional issues, and the current trends and future of online gambling.

Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier of Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, Arizona opened by discussing the importance of crafting a quality legal opinions. In reviewing her expert approach to creating these essential documents Heidi emphasized the need for attorneys to know the terms of all underlying contracts, an intimate knowledge of the facts, a step by step analysis of the issue(s) at hand, and a detailed study of pertinent state and federal laws.

Following Heidi was Joseph Kelly, Professor at SUNY Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. Joe brought the audience through the history of the federal laws concerning online gaming along with an update on recent legislative efforts. Among several subjects, his expert presentation touched on fantasy gaming and whether or not weekly or daily versions of such contests was contemplated by the "carve-out" language within the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the challenges facing Indian tribes looking to enter the online market.

William ("Bill") Bogot of Fox Rothschild in Chicago, Illinois spoke next and, true to the panel's topic, he focused on the past and remaining obstacles facing credit card companies in processing online transactions associated with lawful gambling activities. Bill cited to New Jersey's online gaming market to show recent improvements in processing online transactions, citing specifically to the introduction of a merchant category code designated specifically for lawful online gaming operators.

Closing out this exciting and informative panel was industry clean-up hitter Carl Sottosanti, of Penn National Gaming. Citing Penn's growing national presence and diversity of offerings, Carl pointed out that today's successful companies will explore offerings that keep pace with the industry's changing demographic. He cited Penn's involvement in Illinois' Video Gaming Technology ("VGT") market and the company's move into social gaming partnering with Scientific Games, as examples of Penn's efforts to remain competitive in today's evolving gaming market.

Note: The online legal publication Law360 wrote an article covering the above panel. The link to the accessing the publication and article can be accessed here.

(L to R: Joseph M. Kelly, Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier, William Bogot, Carl Sottosanti, and Kathryn Rand)

Note: If you weren't able to attend the Annual Meeting you can access the written materials and audio recordings of the Committee's programs via the below link.

Message from the Chair

Welcome. My name is Chris Hinckley and I am the Chair of the ABA's Gaming Law Committee (the "Committee"), of the Business Law Section (the "Section"). Over the last year, I have been hard at work tackling the very important tasks of reviewing our overall mission, attending leadership training, and filling the Committee's leadership positions.

The Committee's overall goals include elevating the work and accomplishments of our members, helping to grow Committee and Section membership, improving member interaction, and creating gaming law resources for Committee and Section members. The work of all Committee members should be on display and accessible to Section membership, such that we become the "go-to" resource within the Section, and the ABA as a whole, on all matters directly or indirectly involved with gaming.

I'd like to take the remainder of this message to introduce the Committee's leadership team, give you a brief overview of their roles and responsibilities, and finish up with some house-keeping matters involving the Committee website.


One of the most important tasks in reviving the Gaming Law Committee was the selection of a leadership team. Committee leadership includes Vice-Chairs, Directors, and Subcommittee Chairs, each playing a vital role in fulfilling our overall mission.


Vice-Chairs play a variety of roles within the Committee, including assisting the Chair. In addition to various administrative duties, they monitor membership numbers, the frequency and quality of publications and programs, and the broad-based nature as well as diversity of membership involved in Committee activities. Vice-Chairs will be expected to liaison with the Committee's Directors and Subcommittee Chairs, and when called upon, other Committee's within the Section.

The Committee's Vice-Chairs are:

  • P. Gregory Giordano
    Partner - McDonald Carano Wilson LLP
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Lynne Kaufmann
    Partner- Cooper Levenson
    Atlantic City, NJ
  • Keith Miller*
    Professor of Law, Drake University Law School
    Des Moines, IA

*Also serves as the Director of Publications


The Committee's Directors are responsible for coordinating and administering our Publication and Program initiatives. Directors will look to Subcommittee Chairs for information and ideas about the current and pressing issues facing the industry. With the assistance of Subcommittee Chairs and interested members, the Directors will assist in bringing these issues to the forefront in the form of programs or publications. The Committee's Directors are:


  • Karl Rutledge
    Partner - Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier
    Partner - Shell & Wilmer L.L.P.
    Phoenix, AZ


  • Keith Miller (See Vice-Chairs)
    Professor of Law, Drake University Law School
    Des Moines, IA

Subcommittee Chairs

Subcommittee Chairs are the substantive experts amongst us. As practitioners in the field(s) associated with their respective subcommittees, each will be monitoring emerging issues within their respective fields of expertise either through self-study or through interaction with interested members. Over time, Subcommittee Chairs will identify Committee members with knowledge, expertise, or even just an interest, in the area(s) of law covered by their subcommittee. In other words, they should seek to build something of a think tank within their subcommittee, whose goal is to educate their fellow Committee and Section members about important issues within their field. The Subcommittee Chairs in their respective fields are:

State Regulatory Compliance

  • John Barron
    Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, Ohio Casino Control Commission
    Columbus, OH

Internet Gaming & Derivative Offerings

  • Anthony N. Cabot
    Partner - Lewis Roca Rothgerber, LLP
    Las Vegas, NV

Pari-Mutuel Wagering

  • Laura D'Angelo
    Counsel - Dinsmore & Stohl, LLP
    Lexington, KY

Federal Law

  • Peter Kulick
    Member - Dickinson Wright
    Lansing, MI

Indian Gaming

  • Kathryn Rand
    Dean, University of N. Dakota Law School
    Grand Forks, ND

Industry Counsel

  • Jeff Rodefer
    General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Golden Gaming, LLC
    Las Vegas, NV

Committee Members

The key driver in rebuilding the Committee and returning it to a place of significance within the Section will be membership. Without the ideas, initiative and efforts of Committee members, we will not be able to fulfill our mission. I encourage all Committee members to bring their interests and ideas for publications and programs to the appropriate Subcommittee Chair or straight to a Director. I ask that a member's first attempt at contacting leadership of the Committee be with the Subcommittee Chair in the area of law relating to your idea. This will help open lines of communications between members and the experts in the areas related to a member's interests and ideas. The Subcommittee Chairs, along with the interested members, will then work with the appropriate Director to see the members' idea(s) through to fruition.


Please visit our Committee website to learn more about its offerings. The site contains some essential information regarding the Committee, including a membership roster link which provides the contact information for Committee leadership and other members. The Committee site will also post notices of upcoming, or existing, programs and publications involving the Committee and Section members.

Please visit the Committee's website periodically and be sure to check the Committee and Section pages for important information about upcoming programs, new opportunities and interesting publications.

Also, in the near future, please visit the Committee's website and complete the below tasks:

  • Update your Member Profile (please include a photo).
  • Initiate contact with Subcommittee Chairs in your areas of interest.

Best Regards,

Chris Hinckley

Mission Statement

The mission of the Gaming Law Committee is to deal with all aspects of gaming law. The Committee strives to provide cutting-edge information on all substantive gaming law developments. We conduct an annual two-day conference that provides practitioners with a comprehensive overview of the multiple facets of commercial, Native American and internet gaming at the state, national and international levels.



Hinckley, Christopher


Kaufman, Lynne
Miller, Keith


Rutledge, Karl
Staudenmaier, Heidi

Committee Roster  

Join Us

Gaming Law Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

2016 Gaming Law Minefield

February 11, 2016 - February 12, 2016
Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa
2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy Henderson, NV 89052-2672

Saratoga Institute on Equine, Racing, and Gaming Law

August 9, 2016 - August 10, 2016
The Saratoga Hilton
534 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12286

Section Events

    Business Succession – Tax and Financial Considerations


    This program will discuss how to transition a business while minimizing or eliminating taxes. Discussion includes transfers of closely-held businesses to key employees and family members. Corporate and partnership opportunities will be compared and contrasted and estate planning consequences will also ...

    Understanding the Key Elements of a Legal Opinion


    Business lawyers are asked to give legal opinions in a number of contexts, including financing and M&A transactions. This program will walk through a basic form of third party legal opinion, and will discuss its main features. It will examine opinions commonly rendered, and will discuss what they mean ...

    Law Firm Bankruptcies and Dissolutions: Legal and Ethical Issues


    Law Firm Bankruptcies and Dissolutions: Legal and Ethical Issues


In order to send a message to the listserve, send a message to the email address below. You must be a member of the Committee to successfully send a message to the listserve.

In order to access the listserve archive, please click here.


Gaming Web-Sites of Interest

Subcommittees  (click [+] for listing)

 Sub Committees

Modified by Christopher Hinckley on December 29, 2015

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