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Don’t Roll the Dice with Gambling in the U.S.

February 20, 2019

Join us for a webinar to discuss the frenzy of legal activity with U.S. gambling laws and gambling-related legal issues with video games and esports. Federal and state gambling laws have changed more in the past few years than they have in a long time. Significant state law changes have occurred concerning online gambling, sports betting, fantasy sports, and skilled-based games, to name a few. The major federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting (PASPA) was struck down as unconstitutional and the Department of Justice reversed its opinion in the scope of the federal law that prohibits certain interstate betting (the Wire Act). The evolution of certain aspects of games by the game industry—particularly those involving loot boxes, casino-style games, and chance-based mechanics with virtual items—has raised the perception of certain gambling-related issues and has led to lawsuits. Despite being prohibited by game publishers, players’ engagement in unauthorized activities (e.g., selling virtual items on secondary markets and “skin gambling”) have exacerbated these issues. The financial success of these monetization techniques has led to greater legal scrutiny. The rise of eSports has also implicated sport betting issues. 

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Speaker Biography 
Mr. James Gatto created and is the leader of the firm's Social Media, Entertainment and Technology team, leader of the Virtual Worlds and Video Games team and co-leader of the Open Source team. He leverages his unique combination of over 25 years of IP experience, business insights and attention to technology trends to help companies develop IP and other legal strategies that are aligned with their business objectives.
Mr. Gatto’s practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, internet, and technology law, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and open source. His areas of technical focus include computer software, social media, video games, social networks, virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, user-generated content, location-based services, business methods, Internet and e-commerce technology, media, financial services, bioinformatics, personalized medicine, optics, and wired and wireless telecommunications.
Mr. Gatto is frequently invited to speak at leading business and legal conferences in the U.S. and internationally. He is a regular contributor to VirtualWorldLaw.com, Pillsbury's blog that addresses business and legal issues that affect social media applications, technologies, and business models.