On-Demand Video

Gaming Law Update & the Skill Game Debate

  • City:
  • Start Date:2022-04-25 20:00:00
  • End Date:2025-04-25 20:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Intermediate
  • Topics:Consumer Law

$149.00 ["ProPass"]

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In recent years, the Pennsylvania gaming industry has experienced unprecedented growth and expansion. 2021 gross gaming revenue (GGR) from brick-and-mortar casinos, iGaming, sports betting, satellite casinos, fantasy contests and VGTs totaled in excess of $4.73 billion, bringing Pennsylvania’s gaming industry closer to once again surpassing New Jersey in GGR.

Join experienced gaming lawyers and counsel for the PA Gaming Control Board for a quick update of this important state industry.

  • Overview of the Current Gaming Landscape
  • Online Gaming & Sports Betting
  • Recent Trends
  • Financial Impact

The Skill Game debate: Games of skill or illegal gambling? 

To the owners of convenience stores and taverns, skill game machines represent a vital source of revenue during challenging economic times, but to the lottery and established gaming industry, skill games are considered unwelcomed competition and illegal gambling devices that are costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

What are skill games, and are they different than games of chance?

We address those questions, and more: 

  • How is the proliferation of skill game machines in Pennsylvania impacting the regulated gaming industry and state lottery?
  • How will the legality of skill games ultimately be determined?

Each day brings new issues to this industry. Join us for this timely update.

Co-sponsored with the Pennsylvania Bar Association Gaming Law Committee. For more information about the Committee, please visit their webpage.

All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $40. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.

Recorded in April 2022.


Merritt Reitzel Esq.

Merritt C. Reitzel is an attorney with the Senate of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was in private practice focusing on corporate/business and real estate law, as well as general litigation. Ms. Reitzel received her undergraduate degree from The University of Pittsburgh. She received her law degree from The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

Richard Sherman Esq.

Mr. Sherman is retired from his position as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, having assumed that position in  May 2008. As Chief Counsel, he counseled the Board, the Executive Director and various administrative bureaus and units of the agency, represented the agency in various hearings and seminars relating to gaming issues and oversaw a staff of attorneys in the provision of all legal advice and services to the agency. He previously served as the Deputy Chief Counsel for Litigation for the Board from April 2006 until assuming the Chief Counsel duties. As Chief Counsel, he had led efforts to implement expanded gambling in Pennsylvania including I-Gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests and VGT gaming. Prior to his position with the Gaming Control Board, Mr. Sherman held various positions with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Civil Litigation Section over nearly a twenty year period, representing Commonwealth interests in State and Federal courts as well as in administrative proceedings. Mr. Sherman is a 1987 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law. 

Michael Lyon Esq.

Mr. Lyon is an attorney at the firm of Walsh Pancio LLC in Lansdale, PA. Prior to his current position, he was an associate attorney at Kane Pugh Knoell Troy & Kramer and at Duane Morris LLP. He graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 2009. In addition to being a member of PBA’s 2017-2018 Bar Leadership Institute class, he serves as the Chair of the Gaming Law Committee, and a member of the Civil Litigation Section, Law Related Education Committee, and Quality of Life Committees. 

Stephen Cook Esq.

In December 2021, Mr. Cook was named as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, an independent agency of the Commonwealth which regulates casino gaming, sports wagering, online wagering (including on-line sports wagering), and video gaming terminal wagering throughout Pennsylvania.  The Office of Chief Counsel is charged with providing legal advice and representation to the agency and its 7 member Board, including advising the Board on matters coming before it for consideration and representing the Board in external litigation matters. The Office of Chief Counsel also advises the Board and executive staff on administrative matters in the areas of procurement, contracting and human resources. Between 2008 and 2021, Mr. Cook was Deputy Chief Counsel for Administration and Litigation with the Board.  Prior to joining the Board in 2006 as an Assistant Chief Counsel advising the Board’s Bureau of Licensing, Mr. Cook was in private practice for 7 years with Cerullo, Datte and Walbillich, Pottsville, PA, a firm focusing on business and transactional law, real estate and commercial litigation. Mr. Cook was also previously employed as a Deputy Attorney General with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, serving both as a criminal prosecutor and legislative liaison, and was also employed as Counsel to the Majority Whip of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Before beginning his legal career, Mr. Cook worked as both a juvenile and adult probation officer.  He received his B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University; his M.S. from Shippensburg University; and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Kevin Hayes Esq.

Kevin C. Hayes is a partner in the gaming practice group of Saiber LLC.  For the last decade, Kevin has represented casinos, racetracks, gaming manufacturers, interactive online gaming operators, technology providers, sportsbook operators and video terminal operators in a variety of corporate, regulatory and compliance matters.  Prior to entering private practice, Kevin served as the first Director of Gaming Operations for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), where he established and supervised the Bureau of Gaming Operations. As the Director, Kevin acted as the agency’s Chief Compliance Officer and was responsible for reviewing and approving the gaming floor plans, internal controls and audit protocols of all licensed casinos in Pennsylvania. Kevin joined the PGCB in 2005 as an Assistant Chief Counsel, assigned to the Bureaus of Administration and Licensing and the Office of Racetrack Gaming. In 2007, Kevin was appointed as head of the PGCB’s Opening Team and supervised the successful openings of: Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack; Presque Isle Downs and Casino; The Meadows Racetrack and Casino; Mount Airy Casino Resort; and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Mr. Hayes is a 2005 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and a 2001 graduate of Fairfield University. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of New Jersey, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Hayes currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Gaming Law Committee and was a course planner and panelist for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 2007 and 2021 Gaming Law Updates.

F. Jacoby Esq.

Fred Warren Jacoby is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on construction law. He has notably diverse experience and is a sought-after advocate and adviser who serves companies in the construction, real estate, and financial services industries. He represents clients in their most significant commercial litigation and regularly provides strategic counsel on operations and contracts to help clients avoid potential disputes. He is also a vice chairman of the firm and a member of the Advisory Committee that counsels the firm’s board of directors and management committee. As senior adviser to the Construction Law practice, Mr. Jacoby represents owners, contractors, and construction managers in economic disputes with stakes ranging from several million to several hundred million dollars. He has experience handling large construction failures, OSHA compliance, bid protests, public construction contracts, delay claims, contract disputes, and many other construction-related issues. On the financial services side, in addition to litigation matters, he represents insurers, insured parties, broker-dealers, and other registered representatives in the development and distribution of financial services products, with particular emphasis on property and casualty insurance and the life settlement market. He also advises brokers, consultants, and business and private clients regarding their formation and use of captive insurance companies. This includes not only from a regulatory standpoint in working with the insurance departments of proposed domiciles of these companies and developing feasibility studies but also in the development and implementation of a business plan to include both regulatory, actuarial, tax and other disciplines. Among the clients for whom he has worked in establishing captive insurance companies are Toll Brothers and Crownway (formerly Crown Cork and Seal). He also serves as a consultant for clients, brokers, and others in their initial consideration and analysis of the applicability and desirability of captive insurance companies for their particular situations. Chambers USA recognized him as a Band 1 “Notable Practitioner” in Construction Litigation in 2014 to the present. His peers consistently recognize him as a “Best Lawyer” and “Super Lawyer” in his respective practice areas. Best Lawyers in America named him a 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Construction Litigation, and he has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer” from 2006 to 2022 and a “Super Lawyer” from 2004 to 2021. Mr. Jacoby’s distinguished career as a litigator and overarching range and experience as a trusted advisor and consultant lend unique gravity to his position as an American Arbitration Association panelist whom attorneys, law firms, and general counsel alike turn to for measured guidance. He also serves as a Commerce Judge Pro Tempore in the Commerce Court Program of the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County. He is an active member in numerous professional associations, including the American, Pennsylvania, New York, Philadelphia bar associations, the American Association for Justice, the Life Insurance Settlement Association, and the Society of Financial Service Professionals. In addition, he has represented casinos, lenders and other interested parties in the Gaming Industry since the inception of Gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and continues to represent clients in connection with issues relating to Gaming. Mr. Jacoby received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Before attending law school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army, including in Vietnam. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from the Dickinson School of Law, where he was an editor of the Dickinson Law Review.

Susan Yocum Esq.

Susan Yocum is an associate with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot, LLC and focuses her practice in the areas of hospitality, municipal and employment law. She advises employers on labor and employment matters including employee termination, discipline, contract negotiation, grievance resolution and arbitration and has experience successfully litigating unemployment compensation and discrimination cases. Susan also has experience with regulated industries, administrative law and civil litigation. Prior to joining Eckert Seamans, she served as Senior Counsel to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. In that role, she advised the seven-member Board on all matters related to gaming, drafted regulations applicable to the casino gaming industry in Pennsylvania, handled employment law issues and represented the agency in litigation, including appeals of casino licensing decisions. She is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law (JD) and Central Michigan University (BS). 

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