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Rational Opposition to AGA Petition

Rational Opposition to AGA Petition

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Rational Opposition to AGA Petition
Rational Opposition to AGA Petition

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: brettcollson_2357519 on Mar 11, 2013
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08/04/2014

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IFRAH PLLC1717 Pennsylvania Ave N.W.
Suite
 
650
 
Washington,
 
D.C.
 
20006
 
www.ifrahlaw.com
 
(202)524
4142
 
March 10, 2013David L. Rebuck, DirectorNew Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement140 East Front StreetP.O. Box 047 Trenton, NJ 08625Matthew B. LevinsonChairman & Chief Executive OfficerCasino Control CommissionArcade Building Tennessee Avenue & The BoardwalkAtlantic City, NJ 08401Re: In the Matter of the Petition of Rational Group US Holdings Inc. forInterim Casino Authorization to Own the Casino Currently Known as theAtlantic Club and Other Rulings in Connection TherewithPetition Ref. No. 3591201Gentlemen:Please accept this letter in lieu of a more formal brief on behalf of Rational GroupUS Holdings Inc. (“Rational” or “PokerStars”) in opposition to the Petition forParticipation which has been filed by the American Gaming Association (“AGA”).Under New Jersey Administrative Code 1:1-16.6, only an “entity with asignificant interest in the outcome of a case may move to participate,” and participationwill be allowed only if “the participant’s interest is likely to add constructively to the casewithout causing undue delay or confusion.” The AGA meets neither of these criteria.
 
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 The Casino Control Commission (“Commission) should deny the AGA’s petition toavoid setting a dangerous precedent that would eviscerate all requirements forparticipation in the context of the Commission’s consideration of licensing applications,and would empower the AGAs thinly veiled anti-competitive campaign against the entryof a competitor into the market.
1.
 
 The AGA lacks a “significant interest in the outcomeof theseproceedings.
 The AGA’s petition should be rejected because it lacks a significant interest inthe outcome” of these licensing proceedings. The AGA explains that it is engaged ingeneral gaming advocacy, including spearheading campaigns relating to responsiblegaming and corporate philanthropy, hosting a global trade show, and lobbying
See
Brief in Support of Petition (“Pet. Br.”) 2-4; Patterson Cert. ¶¶ 5-10. However, it neverexplains how those activities give the AGA a significant interest specifically in Rationalspetition for a license. The AGA’s claimed interest in preserving suitability-based licensing of gamingoperations,” Pet. Br. 1, 4, 10, is irrelevant, because the integrity of the process by whichthe Division of Gaming Enforcement (“Division”) and the Commission conductsuitability-based licensing is not in doubt, or even at issue, in these proceedings. To thecontrary, Rational recognizes that New Jersey’s licensing statutes and regulations set thehighest standards in the industry and are models for other jurisdictions. This case is onlyabout fairly applying these rules to Rationals petition. And the Division and the
 
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Commission – recognized as leaders throughout the industry are more than capable of accomplishing this task without the unsolicited assistance of a self-appointed group of Rationals competitors. The AGA fails to identify any limiting principle that would distinguish its effortto participatefrom any gaming entity’s attempt to block the licensing of acompetitor. This is not a case in which the Division’s ability to investigate the relevantfacts is impaired in any way or otherwise called into question. Properly understood, insuch an ordinary case, the right to participate is limited to circumstances in which thewould-be participant offers a unique, first-hand perspective on the licensingapplication. That standard will most often be satisfied when the would-be participant haspersonal knowledge of non-public facts or a direct, concrete stake in the outcome thatdistinguishes it from an ordinary marketplace competitor.For example, participation might be appropriate if a seller of a casino property toa license applicant, or perhaps a union representing its employees, has first-handinformation that would be useful to the Commission’s licensing determination, but whichmight be beyond the traditional scope of the Division’s investigatory process. Forinstance, such a participant might have specialized knowledge regarding the effect of granting a license on the solvency of the existing licensee or the effect on employmentsecurity for the employees.

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