Gambling and the Law®
The law of gambling can be simple, or enormously complex. For example, all gambling requires three elements: prize, chance and consideration. But creating a successful game that has only two of those elements can be extremely difficult. Similarly, some forms of online gaming are legal, but only a legal professional can tell you whether your plans meet the requirements of the law.
Professor I. Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. He is an internationally known scholar, with more than 1,500 published works, and public speaker, often the keynote speaker on gambling issues. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a Distinguished Senior Professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he taught one of the first law school classes on gaming law, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Macau.
China’s Gambling Problem
Macau is by far the largest gaming jurisdiction in the world. This year, the casinos in this Special Administrative Region of China are projected to win more than all of the privately owned casinos in the United States – about $40 billion. And Macau is not only smaller than the U.S., or Rhode Island; even with its reclaimed land, it would fit inside the District of Columbia six times over, with room to spare.
Imagine what business it could do if it were completely legal.
Not that the casinos are violating any Macanese laws. But restrictions in its main feeder market, Mainland China, mean that inevitably some laws are being broken by individuals and companies who have made this small gaming enclave such a success.
You can start with the patrons. It is against the law for anyone from the Mainland to take out more than 20,000 yuan renminbi, or about US$3,150, in cash. That’s less than $25,000 in Hong Kong dollars: A typical bet in the high-roller rooms in Macau casinos.
So, how are Mainland players getting their cash across the border? The old fashioned way – smuggling.
Guards at most border crossings now just wave you through, if they are even there at all. Spot checks at Macau’s borders with Zhuhai, the connecting city on the Mainland, and at the two ferry terminals and the Macau Airport are extremely rare.
How rare? Players are coming to Macau to gamble. They know they have a better chance of winning a life-changing jackpot on a slot machine than of losing a life-changing conviction for violating currency laws.
Gaming Law in a Nutshell
Gaming Law in a Nutshell has just been published by West. Written by Professors I. Nelson Rose and Walter T. Champion, Jr., the book discusses all aspects of gambling law, and on all levels: local, tribal, state, national, and international. It covers all forms of wagering, legal and illegal, including casino games and slot machines, lotteries, poker, bingo, sports betting, racing, and Internet gaming. It has separate discussions of many jurisdictions, including Nevada, New Jersey, Macau, Canada, and other countries; Indian and charity gaming; taxes; intellectual property; compulsive gambling; and the most popular forms of gambling.
The publication of a Nutshell marks a significant milestone for Gaming Law. As Prof. Champion put it in his Preface: "To me, the Nutshell is 'graduation day.' It shows that a particular field has the gravitas to merit a victory lap." Authors of Nutshells are always the leading experts in the field. And as Prof. Rose noted, he purposely designed it to be a mini-treatise, to explain the law in a way that would be understandable to anyone new to the subject, or who only knows one part of the field. "It should prove useful for anyone interested in the fast growing and fast changing area of Gaming Law."