Sports Law Update

May 2018

SCOTUS Paves the Way for Legalized Sports Betting

On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Murphy v. NCAA. As Justice Alito pointed out, “Americans have never been of one mind about gambling.” That said, all signs point to the proliferation of legalized sports betting in the coming years. If you’re looking for a quick synopsis of the case and its implications, check out our alert. And here are six quick takeaways from the perspective we gave to major media outlets:

1. On Fox 5 News, Dan Etna spoke with news anchor Ernie Anastos about the decision and how it will impact Vegas. Dan said, “Vegas is still somewhat immune to this as they have a full variety of casino offerings in addition to sports gambling.” He further noted, “I don’t expect to see it in Utah, for example, but I do expect the majority of states to adopt it because it's a new fertile ground of revenue.”

2. In SBNation, Dan opined that the future is online. “Let’s face it,” he said. “Going to a sportsbook is a time suck. It’s not user-friendly or convenient. So I think that you’re not going to see these big sports betting Palazzos arising from the ground. I think this will be a largely digital platform.”

3. In Forbes, Irwin Kishner said that early adopter states will create a domino effect of other states taking advantage of their ability to open sports books. “You’re going to see a proliferation of it. Ultimately, sports gambling is going to be legal, taxed and regulated in all of the states.”

4. In Reuters, Irwin said that gambling will proliferate, but it will take some time. As of last week, only five states (Connecticut, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) had sports betting laws in place, while 14 others had introduced legislation.

5. In the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dan opined that the ruling isn’t an immediate death blow to the underground industry, because among other things, underground operators offer conveniences and perks, such as “a week’s worth of credit before a bet is settled.”

6. In the Wall Street Journal, Dan said the integrity fees generated will be “first and foremost another revenue spigot for ownership.” After the decision, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban more boldly told CNBC, “everyone who owns a top four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double.”

Client News

Lomachenko Wins WBA Lightweight Title at MSG
 

Earlier this month, our longtime client Top Rank promoted the Vasiliy Lomachenko v. Jorge Linares title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lomachenko’s 10th round TKO of Linares earned him the WBA lightweight belt, and the honor of being the fastest in the sport’s history to wear three weight-class belts. Here’s the punch that ended the fight:

Justify Goes for the Triple Crown at the 150th Belmont Stakes
 

On June 9, our client New York Racing Association will run the 150th annual Belmont Stakes. For the second time in three years, the Triple Crown is up for grabs, as Justify tries to win the longest and most demanding race in the series. Will Justify pull it off? History argues against it – 23 horses have missed their chance at the Triple Crown after winning the Preakness and Kentucky Derby. Of those 23 horses, eight finished the Belmont Stakes in second place!

Legends Strikes Deal to Oversee Notre Dame’s Multimedia Rights, Marketing and Sponsorships

We recently advised Legends in its 12-year partnership with Notre Dame and JMI Sports to oversee Notre Dame’s sales, marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services nationally. Notre Dame previously had been handling most of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights through Notre Dame Sports Properties, created in 2003.

Recent Events


At the TAG Alliances Spring International Conference, Irwin Kishner delved into trends in sports law and finance, and the continuing globalization of sports team investments.At the CAA World Congress of Sports in Los Angeles, Irwin Kishner met up with SportsBusiness Journal’s executive editor Abe Madkour to talk eSports, escalating team valuations and the impact data analytics is having on the industry.
 


At the CAA World Congress of Sports in Los Angeles, Irwin Kishner met up with SportsBusiness Journal’s executive editor Abe Madkour to talk eSports, escalating team valuations and the impact data analytics is having on the industry.


New York State Bar Association Panel Examines Murphy v. NCAA, Future of Legalized Sports Betting

On May 15, we hosted a New York State Bar Association discussion on SCOTUS’ decision in Murphy v. NCAA, a decision which paves the way for legalized sports betting in the U.S. Joining our lawyers Dan Etna and Audrey Sheetz was Skadden partner Anthony Dryer, who represented the NCAA, NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB in the case; and Bennett Liebman, who formerly served as New York’s deputy secretary for gaming and racing. Bloomberg sports business reporter Eben Novy-Williams moderated the talk, which covered the history of PASPA, the size of the sports betting market and the possibility of state-by-state versus federal regulation. To sign up for upcoming sports law events in our 2 Park Avenue amphitheater, click here.

Upcoming Events

On June 21, former NBA players Earl Monroe, Nate Archibald and Len Elmore will join us for A Night Among the Legends, an enterprise created by Wealth & Values Initiative that recognizes the good work being done by the New York City Chapter of the National Basketball Retired Players Association in underserved communities. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. A portion of the proceeds supports the New York City Chapter of Legends, a registered 501(c)3.
 

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Chambers and Partners: 2018 Sports Law and Practice Guide

Our sports law group members Irwin Kishner, Dan Etna, Barry Werbin and Briana Rose Meginniss were recently selected to be the exclusive contributor to the 2018 edition of Chambers’ U.S. Sports Law and Practice Guide. The guide, which covers a range of issues including league structuring and operation, contract law, government regulation, tort law and intellectual property concerns, is freely available on Chambers’ website.