Justia U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Gaming Law
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Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his second amended complaint against Sony, alleging that Sony violated the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701, by retaining plaintiff's personally identifiable information beyond the Act's statutory limits, and disclosing his personal information between Sony entities. After carefully examining the legislative history, structure and language of 18 U.S.C. 2710 as a whole, the court agreed with the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, and concluded that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff’s unlawful retention claim for lack of a private right of action. The court also concluded that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's unlawful disclosure claim because he failed to sufficiently allege that intra-corporate disclosures of consumers’ personal information between Sony entities to sustain the operations of the PlayStation Network violated the Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Rodriguez v. Sony Computer Entm't" on Justia Law

Posted in: Gaming Law
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The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) divides gaming on Indian lands into three classes and provides a different regulatory scheme for each class. “Non-banking” card games (including poker) can be either Class II or Class III gaming, depending on the laws of the state in which the gaming takes place, 25 U.S.C. 2703. Banking card games are those in which the casino participates “in the game, where the house takes on all players, collects from all losers, and pays all winners, and the house can win.” The Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the state executed a Compact authorizing the Tribe to offer Class III gaming. The parties failed to agree on the scope of gaming allowed by Idaho law. The state argued that Idaho law only permitted the state lottery and parimutuel betting, while the Tribe countered that it allowed “all games that contain the elements of chance and or skill, prize and consideration.” Idaho officials learned that the Tribe intended to offer Texas Hold’em at the Casino and obtained a preliminary injunction. The Ninth Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that tribal sovereign immunity was not abrogated and that venue was improper under the terms of the Tribal-State Gaming Compact and upholding the district court’s findings. View "State of Idaho v. Coeur D'Alene TribeRIBE" on Justia Law

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In 1991, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington and the State of Washington signed a tribal-state gaming compact (the Tulalip Compact), which has since been amended numerous times. The Spokane Tribe did not participate in the collective negotiation process that led to the Tulalip Compact. In 2007, a compact between the Spokane Tribe and the State (the Spokane Compact) became effective. In 2010, Tulalip requested negotiations with the State to amend its compact to enable Tulalip to acquire additional licenses to video player terminals licenses to video player terminals for Class III gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. When negotiations broke down, Tulalip initiated suit, asserting that the “most-favored tribe” clause in the Tulalip Compact entitled it to the amendment because the mechanism was available to the Spokane Tribe but unavailable to Tulalip. The district court granted summary judgment to the State and denied Tulalip’s cross-motion for summary judgment. A panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the most-favored tribe clause did not require the State to adopt Tulalip’s proposed amendment because the amendment did not mirror the restrictions set forth the Spokane compact. View "Tulalip Tribes of Washington v. State of Washington" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Wynn Las Vegas, alleging claims of breach of contract and recoupment regarding gambling debts that plaintiff owed to Wynn. The district court dismissed based on plaintiff's failure to exhaust the claims before the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The court held, however, that plaintiff was not required to exhaust his claims before the Gaming Control Board because the markers that underlie his case are credit instruments under Nevada law. Because the markers are credit instruments, plaintiff's claims did not trigger the Gaming Control Board's exclusive jurisdiction under Nev. Rev. Stat. 463.361(2). Plaintiff's claims must be resolved in the same manner as any other dispute involving the enforceability of a negotiable instrument. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.View "Zoggolis v. Wynn Las Vegas" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Gaming Law
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Plaintiffs, commercial fishermen, brought an action against defendant, who was the Commissioner of the Fisheries for the State of Alaska (Commissioner), asking the district court to declare that certain regulations, which shorten the fishing year and limited the number of salmon that commercial fishermen could harvest, were unconstitutional as a taking of property without just compensation and as a violation of plaintiffs' due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment to the Commissioner, holding that plaintiffs lacked a property interest in their entry permits, that they had expressly waived any right to compensation with respect to their shore leases, and that they had not suffered a due process violation. Plaintiffs subsequently appealed. The court held that under Alaska law, plaintiffs have only a license, and not a protected property interest, in the entry permits. The court also held that plaintiffs contractually waived their right to challenge the regulations when they signed their lease agreements and the court declined to analyze their claims on the merits. The court further held that Alaska Statutes section 16.43.150(e) did not violate plaintiffs' substantive due process rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after plaintiff was arrested for, among other things, possession of false identification documents, when he reported to an agent with the Enforcement Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board ("NGCB") that MGM management had unlawfully denied him payment of his tickets at their casinos. The agent arrested plaintiff after casino records indicated that he had previously redeemed tickets under two different names and the charges against plaintiff were later dismissed. At issue was whether plaintiff's false arrest/false imprisonment, battery, and premises liability claims were properly dismissed under Nevada law and whether plaintiff's false arrest and conspiracy to commit false arrest claims were properly dismissed under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) where plaintiff admitted to the agent that he possessed and used an unofficial identification card and credit card with a different name to gamble at several Las Vegas casinos; where plaintiff's admissions provided the agent with probable cause to believe he had committed a crime and therefore permitting the agent to arrest him; and where, as a result, plaintiff's amended complaint failed to state plausible claims for false arrest, conspiracy to commit false arrest, false imprisonment, and premises liability under state and federal law.