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IMGL 2015 Spring Conference

​IMGL St. Thomas
Schedule of Events

(As of March 31, 2015)


5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception

Sea Cliff Terrace, Frenchman’s Reef


7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Welcome Address

Joerg Hofmann, President, International Masters of Gaming Law and Senior Partner, MELCHERS law firm, Germany

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Keynote Address

Introduction: Violet Anne Golden, Chairman, Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission, US Virgin Islands
Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Kenneth E. Mapp, Governor, US Virgin Islands

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.            
Changes in Offshore Gaming Regimes

Without counting the Central and South American Caribbean Sea border countries, there are sixteen independent countries in the Caribbean region plus nine groups of Islands that are dependencies of the UK, France, the Netherlands and the U.S. (the Territory of the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). There are many "Caribbean" conferences on regional approaches to economic development, tourism and energy, etc., but gaming laws, or lack thereof, are very different between Caribbean jurisdictions. Similarly, there are many differences between Caribbean jurisdictions regarding their tolerance for or enforcement against statutorily "illegal" gambling. The panel will discuss their experiences in several Caribbean jurisdictions as to the operation of legal and regulated casinos and other legal , regulated gaming, the creation of new legal, regulated gaming and efforts ( or lack thereof) by Governments to replace "illegal"  gambling with legal, regulated and taxed gambling operations. The panel will discuss their views and experiences as to the future development of the gambling industry in the Caribbean.
Moderator: Mark N. Poovey, Partner, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Washington D.C.
Panelists: Nicholas Casiello, Jr., Chair, Gaming Practice Group, Fox Rothschild LLP, New Jersey
Violet Anne Golden, Chairman, Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission, US Virgin Islands
Robert W. Stocker II, Member, Dickinson Wright PLLC, Michigan

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.    
Networking Break     

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    
The Thin Line Between Fantasy Sports Leagues and Legalized Sports Wagering – 
50 Shades of Legal Grey

In 2014, an estimated 41 million people played fantasy sports in North America, generating—by most estimates—more than $15 billion in aggregate “entry fees.” The popularity of daily fantasy sports websites, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, has spurred large financial investments from venture capital firms and partnerships with professional sports leagues and teams. More recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver penned a New York Times op-ed article calling for the legalization of sports wagering, an unprecedented step. Yet the leagues are still fighting to prevent the legalization of sports wagering by states such as New Jersey. This panel will discuss the legality of fantasy sports, the symbiotic relationship between daily fantasy sports and sports wagering, and how recent events could dramatically alter the future legal landscape of sports wagering.
Moderator: Alan B. Koslow, Shareholder Director of Entertainment, Hospitality and Gaming Law, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Florida

Speakers: Dennis Drazin, Chairman, Monmouth Park Racetrack, New Jersey
John McManus, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, MGM Resorts International, Nevada
I. Nelson Rose, Professor of Law, Whittier Law School, California
Seth Young, Chief Operating Officer, Star Fantasy Leagues, New York
Daniel Wallach, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Florida

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
Awards Luncheon

President’s Award will be given
IMGL / IAGR Lima Conference Preview
Presentation: Carlos Fonseca Sarmiento
, Partner, Varela & Fonseca Abogados
and Ernest C. Matthews, IV, President/General Counsel, ISI – Maritime/Islands, Ltd.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Gaming Market Migration, Impacts on Products, and the Regulatory Factors that Will Come into Play

This panel of specialists and suppliers in the field will address how gaming products, old and new, are migrating to meet the desire of casino Operators and their patrons.  New gaming products are more interactive and entertainment based than ever, evidenced by the growing popularity of gaming forms such as fantasy sports, slot machines with animated quasi-skill bonus rounds, and other products involving skill and social gaming.  The advent of these new types of products is in response to Operators seeking to capture the interest of the younger demographic of players, who are more interactive and digital entertainment oriented than ever before. We can expect this trend to continue. The gaming product supply industry has likewise been evolving to support this shift and we now see various traditional wagering product companies staffing with executives from entertainment and internet industries as well as acquiring games and digital entertainment assets. These new types of products will be brought forward for regulatory review, requiring regulators to have a clear understanding of what are the implications of things such as:  providing wagering skill return to players, how social gaming is involved with gaming products, and when a product enters the regulatory domain verses just being a social or other fun games product, just to name a few. New forms of gaming will also likely bring with it new forms of currency being wagered (e.g. cryptocurrency, loyalty points, etc.), breaking the monolithic “credits” paradigm, all of which will require consideration.
Moderator: John Maloney, Principal and General Counsel, Law Offices of John K. Maloney, California
Panelists: William Bogot, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, Illinois
​Eric Meyerhofer, CEO, Gamblit Gaming, California 
Kevin P. Mullally, Vice President of Government Relations & General Counsel, Gaming Laboratories International, LLC, Missouri
Britt R. Singletary, Partner, Singletary & Thrash P.A., Mississippi

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Hot Issues in Legal Gambling
Professor I. Nelson Rose will bring us up to date on trends and events large and small that are impacting legal gaming around the world. Prof. Rose will examine the fights over legalizing Internet gambling, including making specific predictions on where and when and who will get the licenses. He will explain why the Nevada model of online gaming, like the English model before it, does not work; and, why the results have been so disappointing from New Jersey and Delaware. He will discuss the legality of interstate and international compacts and proposed "bad actor" laws. Prof. Rose will cover the hot issues of social casino games, Internet cafes, daily Fantasy sports and issues that have escaped the attention of casino gaming lawyers, like the $150 million class action against the Oregon State Lottery for flagrant software mistakes. Other hot issues he will discuss include gambling debts, players suing casinos, and the impact of recent developments in China not only on Macau, but also on Nevada and the rest of the gaming world.
Presenter: I. Nelson Rose, Professor of Law, Whittier Law School, California              

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.    
Networking Break                                              

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Strangers at the Gate: How Suppliers Can Successfully Enter New Markets
Manufacturers of gaming equipment requiring licensing face disparate hurdles in the gaming world…a world that is growing ever larger with hundreds of jurisdictions and separate regulatory schemes. Critical to the supplier’s success is the role of the gaming regulatory lawyer in preparing a manufacturer to enter a new jurisdiction. This panel will discuss the challenges facing manufacturers desiring to enter markets (or even continents) that they have never serviced before and address the best point of entry for a manufacturer. These issues will have a material impact on the success of a manufacturer’s entry into a new market, whether a long time established market or a newly emerging one.
Moderator: Marc H. Ellinger, Partner, Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, L.C., Missouri
Panelist: Susanna Fitzgerald, Q.C., Barrister, Lord Grabiner's Chambers, United Kingdom
Chris Schwab, General Counsel, Cadillac Jack, Inc., Georgia
​Michael E. Zatezalo, Managing Partner/Director, Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter Co., L.P.A.

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Global Gaming Reforms
Gaming Reforms are sweeping across all continents of the world – rapidly changing the landscape to gaming regulation for the land-based and i-Gaming sector.  While some jurisdictions are facing the second or third wave of i-Gaming regulation most other jurisdictions in the world are on the first wave of such regulation or are just waiting for the waves to surge in.  And in other jurisdictions there is also new, or revised, regulation for land-based gaming.  This panel will provide an outlook of the latest developments and forecasts for gaming reforms in Europe, North America and Asia.
Moderator: Tony Coles, Consultant, Jeffrey Green Russell Limited, United Kingdom
Panelists: Frieder Backu, Attorney at Law, SSW Schneider Schiffer Weihermuller, Germany
Hitoshi Ishihara, Partner, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Japan
Donna More, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, Illinois
​Morten Ronde, Director of Education and Association Development, International Masters of Gaming Law, Denmark

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Gala Dinner atop Villa Botanica


8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Gambling Compliance Update

Many gaming companies have implemented compliance plans and staffed compliance committees with high level individuals versed in gaming regulation.  What report card do the committees get? Is the compliance function a tool to assist companies in staying ahead of regulatory issues or is it a feel good function that makes the regulators happy or both? Why do gaming regulators license some gaming compliance members/officers when the respective jurisdiction may not require implementation of compliance plans? Are regulators punishing companies for the time, cost and effort in trying to do the right thing? What is the long term effect of such behavior by the regulators, does the cost alone (it can be tens of thousands of dollars) discourage companies from implementing voluntary compliance plans? Finally, if compliance plans are so important to many gaming jurisdictions, why not statutorily require such plans?
Moderator: John Roberts, Executive Director, Pokagon Band Gaming Commission, Michigan
Panelists: Adriane Dudley, Partner, Dudley Rich Davis, LLP, St. Thomas, USVI – Counsel to VI Casino Control Commission, US Virgin Islands
Michael Lipton, Q.C., Senior Partner, Dickinson Wright, LLP, Canada
Chris Schwab, General Counsel, Cadillac Jack, Inc., Georgia

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Lottery Growth and Expansion – Who will win the Big Payoff?

The Gaming industry is constantly developing and opening new frontiers.  While lotteries continue to be a large sector of the gaming market, and in some place are the exclusive gaming market, they too are changing as the rest of gaming. Lotteries are expanding into the iGaming area and are growing both in the private and governmentally controlled models.  Even in the last ‫six months, new instruments are being implemented by more and more gaming entrepreneurs: Lottery Messengers and Lottery Aggregators, where the operator either buy tickets on behalf of the players or insure itself against the winnings. Collectively these are challenging and volatile new additions in the gaming fields and offer marketing challenges, regulatory challenges and payments challenges. In this panel, leading experts from the legal, payments, marketing and technology industries shall address those concerns.
Moderator:  Simon Planzer, Partner, Planzer Law & Lecturer in Law, University of St.Gallen HSG
Panelist: Melissa Blau, Director, iGaming Capital, United Kingdom
Tal Itzhak Ron, Chairman, Tal Ron, Drihem and Co., Law Firm, Israel
Nelson Rose, Professor of Law, Whittier Law School, California

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Refreshment Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    
FinCEN’s AML Protocols for Casinos: What to expect? Is the Industry Prepared? & How will affect casino operations?

FinCEN has admonished casino operators to implement broader, in-depth ‘know your customer’ rules in the agency’s stated effort to bring gaming operations more in line with anti-money laundering (“AML”) compliance standards required of more traditional financial institutions, such as banks. Now that regulatory officials have turned their attention to formulating mandatory AML protocols for casino operations, what will the rules look like and how will these prospective requirements affect casino interaction with patrons and other stakeholders?
Moderator: Chris Hinckley, Attorney, Harris Beach, New York 
Panelists: Thomas N. Auriemma, Member, Compliance Committee, Penn National Gaming, Pennsylvania
Fredric Gushin, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming, New Jersey
Allen Molnar, Attorney, Harris Beach, New York 

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: The Honorable Tregenza A. Roach
, Senator, Thirty-First Legislature of the US Virgin Islands

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.    
Internet Gaming: Opportunities and Obstacles
Wagering online is now legal in three states but revenues are very low, compliance costs are sky-high and the product scope is narrow. What needs to be changed for the US iGaming industry to grow? What lessons could be learned from the thriving market in Europe. Is there still time to turn things around or has the opportunity for creating a successful market already been seized? This panel will examine the opportunities in the fast-evolving world of Internet gaming, and the legal, legislative and regulatory obstacles that must be overcome for online to fulfill its potential.
Topics will include the regulatory outlook internationally, the legislative outlook in the United States, and how new phenomena like social gaming, mobile devices and fantasy sports already are changing online business models.
Moderator: Frank Fantini, CEO, Publisher, Fantini Research, Delaware 
Panelists: Mario Galea, Principal, Random Consulting, Nevada 
Michael Pollock, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming Group, New Jersey
Sue Schneider, Owner, eGaming Brokerage, Missouri

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     
Refreshments and Membership Meeting 

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Closing Reception 

Estate Catherineberg