Duncan and Dunbar Present at the International Masters of Gaming Law Masterclass in London

JW 105 BIO rd8.indd JW 105 BIO rd8.inddJ. Kelly Duncan, chair of the firm’s Gaming Practice Group, and Marc W. Dunbar, partner in the firm’s Gaming Practice Group in Florida, were both speakers during the International Masters of Gaming Law Masterclass held on February 8, 2017, in London, England, at the 2017 ICE Expo. Mr. Duncan moderated the discussion on “Effects of the Election on Gaming in the United States,” and Mr. Dunbar was a panelist with other gaming attorneys from across the USA. The changing political climate in the United States is an issue the gaming industry cannot ignore and is an active topic for lawmakers, regulators, and law enforcement officials.

Casino Gaming in Georgia? Don’t Bet On It Just Yet

Map of Georgia, filled with US dollars

Casino gaming is, at present, not permitted in the State of Georgia. Indeed, some commentators have gone as far as to categorize Georgia as one of the three least gambling-friendly states in the nation. Yet, others believe that Georgia’s casino-gaming prohibition may soon come to an end. In fact, some legislators and commentators are of the belief that 2017 may be the year during which Georgia is added to the ever-growing list of states that permit and perhaps encourage casino gaming.

Currently, only three forms of gambling are lawful in the State of Georgia: (1)  Bingo, (2) the Georgia State Lottery, and (3) Charitable Raffles. With only three forms of gambling legally permissible in the State of Georgia, it is indisputable that Georgia law is relatively strict when it comes to gambling. For example, explicitly prohibited under Georgia law are horse racing, dog racing, election wagering, commercial gambling, dog fighting, chain letters, pyramid clubs, and, indeed, casino gaming.

Despite the strict and prohibitive nature of Georgia’s gambling laws, there has been a growing trend of late within the Georgia State Legislature toward the legalization of casino gaming. In 2012, the Georgia Senate narrowly voted to authorize the construction and operation of a land-based casino, the profits from which would be used to fund educational initiatives at the state and local level. The proposed bill, however, was never signed and did not take effect. Nevertheless, the 2012 vote at the very least signaled hope for casino-gaming advocates within the State of Georgia.

Commentators have noted that, in 2015 and 2016, there were increased and, in fact, quite serious discussions among Continue Reading