Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians Adds $1.3B Property to Gaming Operations

“Cooper Levenson P.A. is legal counsel to Wind Creek Hospitality in connection with the transaction.”
This release originally appeared on https://windcreekhospitality.com/media-room/full-story/06-01-sands-bethlehem-full-story

ATMORE, Ala., June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — PCI Gaming Authority D/B/A Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH), an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, has finalized the purchase of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a total enterprise value of $1.3 billion. The property will be rebranded as Wind Creek Bethlehem (WCB).

WCB will welcome guests to the upscale, Las Vegas-style resort, located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles from New York City. Amenities currently include a 282-room AAA four diamond hotel, a 183,000 square foot casino floor featuring 3,000 slots and electronic table games, 200 table games, numerous food and beverage outlets, a 150,000 square foot retail mall, and a multi-purpose event center.

Over time, WCH plans to invest an estimated $340 million in updating and expanding the property to include construction of a 300-room hotel adjacent to the casino; a 300,000 square foot adventure and water park at the existing No. 2 Machine Shop Bethlehem Steel site; and a 400-to-450-room hotel adjacent to the adventure park. All expected to bring additional jobs, tourism and economic growth to Lehigh Valley.

WCH President/CEO, James Dorris commented “One of the things that drew us to this property is the quality and experience of the service-minded employees. Each of the nine executives has accepted a multi-year contract with us and we hope that all team members want to continue their work here as part of the Wind Creek family. We will need them as we grow the offerings at Wind Creek Bethlehem.”

The purchase of its largest property to date provides a significant opportunity for WCH to diversify its holdings as well and to offer the Wind Creek Rewards program and online WindCreekCasino.com to millions of new customers. Travel perks offered by the Wind Creek Rewards program to some of the most alluring resorts in the Caribbean: Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino and Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino, both owned by WCH, are expected to be particularly appealing escapes for WCB customers during the cold winter months

Wind Creek Hospitality funded the acquisition with a combination of existing cash on its balance sheet and new debt financing. Credit Suisse has provided financing for the transaction. Wind Creek Hospitality anticipates that the additional cash flow resulting from the acquisition will allow it to pay down debt on an accelerated basis after closing. Innovation Capital, LLC is exclusive financial advisor and Cooper Levenson P.A. is legal counsel to Wind Creek Hospitality in connection with the transaction.

About Wind Creek Hospitality? – Wind Creek Hospitality is an authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Wind Creek Hospitality manages the Tribe’s gaming facilities including: Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Wetumpka, Wind Creek Montgomery, Wa She Shu Casino in Nevada, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino as well as racetracks in Alabama and Florida. For more information, visit: https://windcreekhospitality.com/.

About the Poarch Band of Creek Indians? – The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized Indian Tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation with its own system of government and bylaws. The Tribe operates a variety of economic enterprises, which employ thousands of area residents. For more information, visit: www.pci-nsn.gov.

https://windcreekhospitality.com/media-room/full-story/06-01-sands-bethlehem-full-story

 

 

Cooper Levenson named Legal and Regulatory Advisors to ICE North America

Lloyd D. Levenson, CEO, at the renowned full-service international law firm, Cooper Levenson, will be using the forthcoming ICE North America to provide the very latest insight on the state of play in Pennsylvania together with details of the first iGaming and sports betting licences awarded following the Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of The Wire Act.  The C-Level analysis has been secured following Cooper Levenson’s selection as the official Legal and Regulatory Advisor to the ground-breaking event, which is taking place across May 13-15 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Previewing his participation in ICE North America, Lloyd D. Levenson said: “We are honored to be selected by ICE North America as Legal and Regulatory Advisor and to be collaborating on such an important event at this crucial juncture for the nation. At this time, it’s a dynamic market pregnant with opportunity for gaming organizations who understand the regulatory landscape and Cooper Levenson is very much looking forward to sharing our professional insight with the assembled audience of 2,000 decision makers from across the spectrum of Sports Betting and iGaming.”

Kate Chambers, Managing Director responsible for Clarion Gaming’s portfolio of leading brands, believes the calibre and status of contributors is of critical importance for delegates.  She stated: “Cooper Levenson is a hugely respected, international law firm.  They have an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the North American regulatory landscape and delegates attending ICE North America will benefit from their insight.  One of the many stand-out features of ICE North America is its ability to appeal to the entire A-Z of the gaming eco-system.  What our key five verticals of Sports Betting, iGaming, Esports, iLottery and Affiliate Marketing all have in common is the imperative of operating within a regulatory framework, which is why having experts such as Cooper Levenson on board is so important.”

Lloyd D. Levenson will join a host of C-Level decision makers or ‘MVPs’ participating in ICE North America.  The line-up of ‘MVPs’ speaking at the event brings together a broad range of decision makers and thought leaders including Mario Kontomerkos, CEO, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment and Owner, Connecticut Sun; Craig Barry, Executive Vice President/Chief Content Officer Turner Sports; Jason Sondag, Senior Director, Strategy & Analytics, Chicago Cubs; Jeff Gerttula, EVP and General Manager, CBS Sports Digital; Adam Grossman, CMO, Red Sox; Matt King, CEO, FanDuel; Greg Leach, Vice President of Sales, New England Sports Network (NESN); Keith Wachtel, Chief Revenue Officer, NHL; Jim Frevola, SVP & Chief Sales Officer, Vegas Golden Knights; Rodney Butler, Chairman, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council; Kenny Gersh, EVP, Gaming & New Business Ventures, Major League Baseball (MLB); Christian Stuart, Executive Vice President, Caesars Entertainment; and, Scott Warfield, Managing Director, Gaming, NASCAR.

Lloyd D. Levenson will provide the full progress report on Pennsylvania on the opening day of ICE North America.  To download the full conference agenda and register for the disruptive learning and networking opportunity featuring the region’s MVPs from across Sports Betting, iGaming, Esports, iLottery and Affiliate Marketing, visit: icenorthamerica.com/learning

Lynne Levin Kaufman to Present at National Gaming Conference in New Orleans

Lynne Levin Kaufman, partner, Cooper Levenson, will present at a general session “The Big Picture: Focus on Freshman Class of Legislators” at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) on Friday, Jan. 4. The session is designed for new legislators from across the country who want to learn the basics about regulated gaming. Kaufman’s session is entitled “Commercial Casinos.”

More than 200 attendees are expected to attend the three-day NCLGS Winter Meeting, Jan. 4-6, 2019. The conference agenda also includes:

  • Keynote Luncheon Address from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose arguments before the Supreme Court resulted in overturning the federal prohibition on sports betting
  • Six legislative committee sessions: Casinos, Emerging Forms of Gaming, Lotteries, Pari-Mutuels, Sports Betting/iGaming, and State-Federal Relations
  • Two Masterclasses presented by the International Masters of Gaming Law
  • General session focusing on the relationship between gaming and tourism

A frequent speaker on gaming law topics, Kaufman is at the forefront of recent developments in gaming law, including the implementation of sports betting and online gaming in  Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Based in the Atlantic City office of Cooper Levenson, Kaufman practices in all aspects of gaming law including licensure, financings, casino acquisitions and sales, compliance, investigations, new game and gaming equipment approvals for casino companies, gaming suppliers, technology vendors and lenders worldwide. She is past Chair of the Casino Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is the Vice Chair of the Gaming Law Committee of the American Bar Association. She was the General  Counsel of the International Association of Gaming Advisors and also served on its Board of Directors. She served as a  member of the Gaming Transition Committee for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell after the passage of gaming in Pennsylvania, and has represented numerous clients entering new gaming jurisdictions.

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 70 attorneys and New Jersey offices in Atlantic City and Cherry Hill. The firm also has offices in Las Vegas, Nev., Bear, Del., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Registration for the NCLGS Winter Meeting is open to the public at http://www.nclgs.org/meetings.html

 

Cooper Levenson Partner Lynne Levin Kaufman to speak: American Bar Association Webinar Panel “The Post Murphy v. NCAA World of Sports Betting: What Lawyers Need to Know”

Cooper Levenson Partner Lynne Levin Kaufman will serve as a panelist on an American Bar Association webinar session discussing the recent United State Supreme Court Case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, on Thursday, November 8.

This webinar discussion, “The Post Murphy v. NCAA World of Sports Betting” is sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Development and will discuss what practitioners need to know about the rapidly evolving landscape of sports betting. With NFL ratings up in 2018, many say legalized sports betting is increasing interest and is expected to be a billion dollar industry for media and data companies.

The program will include a review of existing regulations, a discussion of recent developments in the gaming industry as it has prepared for this day, and a look at how online developments will impact sports betting.

Joining Lynne Levin Kaufman, will be Andrew Brandt, the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, Christopher Soriano, Partner, Duane Morris LLP, and Carl Sottosanti, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Penn National Gaming Inc.

To register, go to https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/mtg/web/342621634/

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 70 attorneys and offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Florida and Las Vegas. For  more information, visit www.cooperlevenson.com.

Cooper Levenson Partner Russell Lichtenstein to speak at Global Gaming Expo

Cooper Levenson Partner Russell Lichtenstein to speak at Global Gaming Expo

Cooper Levenson Partner Russell Lichtenstein will be a part of a panel addressing sexual harassment on Tuesday, October 9,  at the Global Gaming Expo, being held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The panel “Sexual Harrassment: Recognizing a Problem and What to do Next” will discuss preventing and responding to sexual harassment as a top priority in today’s #MeToo, post Weinstein/Spacey world. The heightened awareness and change in perspective creates new challenges for the hospitality industry. Top human resource and legal experts will offer concrete advise on how to prevent harassment in your workplace; discuss their perspective on defending sexual harassment matters; deal with “he-said, she-said” complaints; cope with false claims and reverse discrimination; and manage retaliation. They will look at issues and the perils of making exceptions or claiming ignorance and the critical importance of training, protocols and policy for those who investigate claims.

Joining Lichtenstein will be Phyllis A. Gilland, Senior Vice President, American Casino & Entertainment Properties, Matt Krystofiak, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Caesars Entertainment and Elayna Youchah, Partner, Jackson Lewis Attorneys-at-Law.

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 70 attorneys and offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Florida and Las Vegas. For  more information, visit www.cooperlevenson.com.

 

New Jersey – “Bettor” Than Ever: #SportsBetting

By Lynne Levin Kaufman, Esquire

For those of you who have been asleep for the past 24 hours, yesterday the Supreme Court declared the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional and gave states the ability to decide whether or not to legalize sports wagering, and to craft, through legislation and regulation, a sports betting framework in their state.

Those of us that were not asleep declared yesterday a day to celebrate a great victory for the State of New Jersey and for the entire gaming industry. Tourism, jobs, tax revenue,  and new entertainment are just a few reasons why. It was of course, a day for much speculation about the impact of sports wagering, including the question, which state will be up and running soon?

Yes, legislation has been passed in Connecticut, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in anticipation of the ruling. Yes,  although New Jersey started and won the battle against PASPA, its sports betting legislation has not been enacted yet.

However, don’t place your bets against New Jersey coming out in front. New Jersey has fought for many years to overturn PASPA, against powerful and formidable opponents, and it is not going to take any time for a victory lap until sports wagering is legalized and operating in New Jersey. Although a few other states may be a bit ahead in the legislative process, we believe that gap will quickly close. Why?

Legislation had already been proposed in the Assembly, and within a few hours after the Supreme Court decision was released, the Senate introduced its own legislation. All proposals tie legalized sports wagering to the landbased casino and racetrack industries, and have a  lower tax rate than that proposed in some neighboring jurisdictions, making it more welcoming for operators to enter the New Jersey market. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has also been preparing for years, and will be ready with regulations to support any legislation.

Furthermore, in addition to the fact that we anticipate the legislative and regulatory process to move quickly,  New Jersey is one of only three states in the country with operating regulated internet gaming (with the other two being Nevada and Delaware). Thus, New Jersey has technical and practical experience from its successful launch of internet gaming that can be applied to internet sports wagering. This experience ranges from software product approvals to successful geolocation and age and identity verification measures, to name  just a few critical areas. States without live regulated internet gaming  do not have this technical or practical experience. Of course, as the second state in the nation to legalize casino gaming, there is the well  established and respected landbased casino infrastructure in place as well. Last, and not at all the least – in fact maybe even likely to come in as first to operate – are the New Jersey racetracks, which have been prepared to offer sports wagering for years.

So stay tuned. We will continue to report. And here goes the lawyer disclaimer: Don’t really make that bet for or against any state going to market first. The decision yesterday did not legalize that activity!

All materials are for informational purposes only and do not contain legal advice, legal opinions or any other form of advice regarding any specific facts or circumstances.

U.S. Supreme Court Allows States to Legalize Sports Betting

by Lynne Levin Kaufman, Esquire
@iGamingLawyer

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – May 14, 2018  – By now, most of you have heard that the U.S. Supreme Court  today held that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the more than 25 year old federal law that prohibited full blown sports betting in all states but Nevada, is an unconstitutional restriction on state sovereignty. The elimination of PASPA means that states can pass laws establishing regulated sports betting. But what does that mean for the gaming industry and for those of us who are anxious to place a legal bet in our state?

It means that the states that have already acted to pass legislation, or have bills pending in the legislature, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are preparing to roll out sports betting as soon as possible. It means that an opportunity has been created for businesses that operated outside of the U.S. to now locate themselves in the U.S., creating employment and other business opportunities. It means that much less revenue will be lost to the $150 billion illegal sports betting industry. It means tax revenue will be gained by states that legalize sports betting. It means that people who couldn’t travel to Nevada for the Super Bowl or March Madness, as two examples, can enjoy an entertainment experience at the casino or racetrack in their regulated sports betting state. It means that sports betting will be required to be conducted with integrity, transparency, and supervision.

Yes, there is a lot to work out.  The average sports book realizes about a 5% profit, and integrity fees to the leagues, licensing fees, and technical requirements could deter industry growth. Then there are questions regarding internet wagering, server placement, and the Wire Act.  But on this day, let’s put those thoughts aside and celebrate a monumental victory for the gaming industry.  #SportsBetting

 

 

 

Lloyd D. Levenson to Present at Global Gaming Expo, Las Vegas October 4

G2E Panel Will Explore Building the Bridge Between Lotto and Gaming

Atlantic City, N.J. – September 18, 2017 — Lloyd D. Levenson, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Cooper Levenson’s Casino and iGaming Practice Group, will moderate a panel at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nev. on October 4, 2017. Entitled “Learning from Lotto: How Gaming Can Benefit from a Shared Union,” the panel will explore the evolution of competition between the gaming and lotto space and how the two can align.

“In the online space, free-flowing funds will only be possible if a bridge is built between lotto and gaming, starting with payment processing,” noted the panel description. Attendees will hear from both sides of the table on how each is working with regulatory bodies to improve processing and speed to market; gain insight into the latest innovations in the payment processing space; and learn how to tap emerging technologies to achieve better efficiencies across the enterprises.

Levenson will moderate and participate in the presentation. Panelists include Andrew Crowe, vice president of Lotteries Market Development, Vantiv Entertainment; Terry Presta, executive director, Kansas Lottery; and May Scheve Reardon, executive director, Missouri Lottery.

The G2E is an international gaming conference that brings together global leaders for conversations about the state of gaming. Described as “an event by the industry for the industry,” the conference will cover topics such as security and surveillance, tribal gaming, compliance and regulations, technology, iGaming, and more. G2E’s show floor will showcase more than 400 exhibitors of technologies, products and services. This year’s event will be held October 2-5, 2017 at the Sands Expo Center, 201 Sands Avenue in Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, or to register, visit http://www.globalgamingexpo.com.

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 75 attorneys and New Jersey offices in Atlantic City and Cherry Hill. The firm also has offices in Bear, Del., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, visit www.cooperlevenson.com.

Topic: Sports Betting. Motto: Never give up. Especially in New Jersey.

After almost 5 years, with the major US sports leagues as strong opponents who had secured numerous victories against sports betting in New Jersey, and after losing almost every step of the way — including an opinion last month by Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall advising the Supreme Court to pass on the case — the U.S. Supreme Court just agreed to hear New Jersey’s appeal to offer legal sports betting. By the way (?)…and especially surprising?  The Supreme Court almost always follows the advice of the Solicitor General.

A win would allow New Jersey to offer legal sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks.

The impact? Not only legalized sports betting in New Jersey but a subsequent possible state-by-state expansion.

Supreme Court legal focus? The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, referred to as PASPA,  the federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting unless a state had pre-existing sports betting. We all know the only state with full blown sports betting? Yes, Nevada.

Feeling positive that what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas but will travel to New Jersey.

New York New York – Is it in the cards? LIKELY NOT IN 2017

It looks like there will be no need to “stay tuned” to New York for iGaming news this year. As I previously reported, an iGaming bill was recently passed by the Senate. As I also reported, “Assembly approval is not assured”. Well, with the legislative session ending Wednesday, the forecast has changed and “Assembly approval is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY”. It may be the bad actor debate, or more likely that New York, with three commercial casinos opening this year, has seen enough expansion in 2017 to approve further and controversial expansion this year. 2018 here we come (??).