With the help of one of our trusty Summer Associates, and stimulated in part by our desire to update and consolidate research that we’ve carried out over the years in a variety of different contexts, we have prepared a Survey of U.S. Federal and State Gaming Laws & Regulations that apply or in some cases may apply to “Online Gaming.” We intentionally defined “gaming” relatively loosely, and attempted to cover promotions and contests involving money or consideration of any kind, the potential implications of related gambling statutes, “amusement gaming,” and anything related that popped onto our radar screen where we thought appropriate. With the proliferation of Web-based advertising, promotions, games and interactive entertainment, these gaming laws will increasingly be implicated and potentially used by state and federal authorities to regulate how these activities are conducted.
The Survey of U.S. Federal and State Gaming Laws & Regulations chart, which you can refer to at any time, lists each state (including the District of Columbia) in the United States, and a citation to the relevant statutes and regulations (organized so that amendments are cross-referenced by date and relevant citation), followed by a brief summary of the salient provisions of the law or regulation itself. We have also noted, where there was current activity, any pending legislation that may apply. For example, the relevance of federal gambling legislation appears in the notes at the introduction of the chart, referencing the recent introduction of bills that would potentially defer enforcement of the UIEGA and seek to establish a federal licensing scheme for online gambling.
Now you may ask, “Why would a law firm be giving away such valuable research for free online, on the web, for everyone to see?” Well you may ask – but first read on:
This is an area in which Reed Smith has both U.S. and international experience, and as complex gaming, promotional activities and in-game advertising—involving proprietary and user-generated content—proliferate, the convergence and intersection of these laws and regulations with advertising, promotional and marketing regulation will surely increase over time. Contact Joseph I. Rosenbaum or Adam Snukal if you would like to know more about our experience, our resources, or our ability to help you.
We also maintain a similar chart relating to:
(A) Gift Cards and Gift Certificates, covering both traditional and online payment instruments that are increasingly blurred with prepaid debit cards, stored value cards, smart or chip-cards, reward cards, discount certificates, and traditional credit, charge and debit cards. In the online world, often a simple code or account number, rather than a physical piece of plastic, is the only evidence that a “gift card” exists. Not only are there advertising disclosure regulations and restrictions on expiration dates or the imposition of dormancy or inactivity fees, but escheat and abandoned property laws are implicated as well. It’s a complex area of marketing and the law.
(B) Data breach, information security and identity theft statutes, which is an increasingly handy tool related to prevention and compliance and, of course, knowing what to do when you suffer a breach. This chart is a collaborative effort between Reed Smith’s Advertising Technology and Media Group and its Security & Data Protection Group.
We will continue to update our research regularly for our clients, and if you want to know more about any of the databases, reference tools, or our teams of professionals who can help you—well you know what to do next – just ask.