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Midnight Princess - Power of Love slot game by Play'n GO
Midnight Princess - Power of Love - Slots game by Play'n GO

Compliance Updates

Pace-O-Matic Announces Major Fraud Suit Against Prominent Pennsylvania Law Firm

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Pace-O-Matic Announces Major Fraud Suit Against Prominent Pennsylvania Law Firm

 

Pace-O-Matic (POM), a Georgia-based gaming company that does significant business throughout Pennsylvania, announced a major fraud claim against one of Pennsylvania’s most prestigious law firms.

The lawsuit alleges that Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, a Pennsylvania-based law firm deceived its client, POM, by taking millions of dollars to represent the gaming company, while at the same time representing a Pennsylvania casino that opposed POM’s operations in the Commonwealth and launched lawsuits against POM. When confronted with the conflict of interest, Eckert first denied the conflict, then swore to a Federal District Court they would not engage in a conflict, then continued to work surreptitiously against POM and POM’s interests.

“Make no mistake about it, Eckert engaged in an egregious conflict of interest where they unethically pitted one client against another,” said Michael Barley, POM’s Chief Public Affairs Officer. “This case and record are clear, and we are hopeful the courts will right the damage that Eckert and its agents have inflicted upon POM, its customers, and countless Pennsylvanians.”

Eckert is a major law firm that has more than 300 lawyers across a network of 15 offices, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA.

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The lawsuit contends that Eckert “took up arms” against POM on behalf of the Philadelphia-based Parx Casino; that Eckert “actively participated in and covertly manipulated litigation” in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court adverse to POM’s interests; and that Eckert participated in a campaign intended to “destroy POM’s business by attempting to convince elected and appointed public officials that POM’s games are gambling devices that should be seized and outlawed.”  In particular, Eckert used its influence to improperly target the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

When confronted by POM’s allegation that Eckert was double-dealing and had breached its professional duties of loyalty and confidentiality, Eckert denied the claim, while seeking to shield the law firm’s emails with the Parx Casino which would, if made public, reveal that numerous lawyers at Eckert, led by Mark Stewart, co-chair of Eckert’s gaming practice group, were indeed simultaneously taking money from and representing the Parx Casino.

Parx Casino calls itself “the #1 casino in Pennsylvania” and is owned and operated by Greenwood Racing Inc.

Eckert, working at the behest of Parx Casino and its consultants, sought to block Pace-O-Matic from doing business in Pennsylvania.

The suit also alleges that Eckert “violated their most basic fiduciary duties and concealed and misrepresented material facts to POM’s great detriment.  As a result, POM is entitled to appropriate damages.

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In November 2021, US Magistrate Judge Joseph Saporito, Jr. found that Eckert acted in “bad faith” by seeking to withhold emails that demonstrated Eckert was representing both sides.

Eckert, Saporito ruled, “actively and clandestinely managed and participated in the representation of Parx in the Commonwealth Court litigation against its other client, POM. Moreover, based on our in camera review of the purportedly privileged documents, it did so with full knowledge that the conflict asserted by POM precluded its active and continuing representation of Parx in the Commonwealth Court litigation.”

Saporito continued, “in light of the clear and obviously intentional subterfuge demonstrated in the purportedly privileged documents, we have no difficulty concluding that these documents evidence an intent by Stewart and Eckert to play fast and loose with the courts”.

Eckert appealed Jude Saporito’s ruling, which required Eckert to turn over to POM many internal emails. On July 5, 2022, Federal Judge Jennifer P. Wilson ruled for POM, declaring, “in making inconsistent representations to the court, Eckert has attempted to obstruct the discovery process as to the central issue in this case: whether Eckert breached its fiduciary duty to POM by representing Parx, a party with adverse interests, at the same time that it represented POM.”

POM is a leading developer of legally compliant games of skill in the United States. Its games are played in thousands of small restaurants and bars, along with many social halls such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts.  Our games generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses and clubs in Pennsylvania last year and its games can be found in thousands of businesses, mostly small mom and pop shops, along with many social halls.

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Compliance Updates

NJ Governor Murphy Establishes Task Force to Support Responsible Gaming

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 360, establishing a Responsible Gaming Task Force responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General regarding reforms to support responsible gaming and to address problem gambling in New Jersey.

A rise in problem gambling has been observed over the past few years, according to a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies. The Rutgers study estimated that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%, with the highest rates affecting Black/African American or Hispanic residents.

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more. This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents,” said Governor Murphy.

“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in elevating responsible gaming initiatives through the establishment of a statewide task force. New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. As Chair of the task force, I’m eager to get underway in examining ways to help bring attention to and support the prevention and treatment of gambling disorder,” said Attorney General Platkin.

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The responsibilities of the Responsible Gaming Task Force will be to review several areas of the problem gambling landscape, including the effects on underage and vulnerable communities; develop strategies to achieve responsible gaming; and make recommendations for policy changes to address the issue of problem gambling.

Members of the Task Force will consist of seven government representatives or their designees, including:

The Attorney General, who shall serve as Chair;

The Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission;

The Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

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The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;

The Director of the Division of State Lottery;

The Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; and

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

The Task Force may consult with experts, representatives of regulated entities, or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector with respect to any aspect of its mission.

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Compliance Updates

Flows Now Registered in New Jersey

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Technology solutions provider Flows is now officially registered as an active vendor in New Jersey.

James King, CEO of Flows, said: “Receiving approval as a vendor in New Jersey is a next natural step for us at Flows as we accelerate our North American expansion. It highlights the dedication and effort of our entire team and aligns with our mission to deliver cutting-edge innovation platform to the US market. A big thanks to our fantastic client Light & Wonder who supported our registration as well as a big shout out to North America’s finest legal outfit Saiber LLC (Jeremy and his team) for their expert guidance throughout this process.”

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Compliance Updates

Aruze Gaming Announces Rapid Expansion Throughout North America and Asia

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Aruze Gaming Global (AG2) has announced rapid expansion throughout North America and Asia. AG2 has now met the rigorous requirements and has been granted approvals from the following jurisdictions, across North America and Asia. These new gaming licenses dramatically expand AG2’s addressable markets in more than 160 new jurisdictions, including recent approvals in Macau (SAR) China (DICJ), Philippines (PAGCOR), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and dozens more that are in process. Additionally, AG2 is establishing offices and distributorships in the Netherlands, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam to further extend its international reach. AG2 has now been granted licenses for over 160 gaming jurisdictions world-wide, up from just 76 licenses in August of 2023.

This accomplishment marks a substantial expansion for AG2, solidifying its commitment to providing cutting-edge gaming solutions with the highest standards of regulatory compliance. The recent approvals underscore the company’s dedication to fostering strong relationships with its partners across the globe while ensuring responsible and transparent gaming practices.

Kelcey Allison, Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “The timing could not be better for the new gaming licenses. Coupled with the recent release of several new titles that are performing at 2 to 3 times house average – thus giving us some amazing new content for our existing and newly accessible markets.”

Betty Zhao, SVP of International Operations, said: “Our explosive growth and high-performing new content is fueling a lot of excitement with our new customers.”

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