Justia U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Gaming Law
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The State of Texas sought to enjoin the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo from holding live-called and electronic bingo. The district court granted the injunction and the Fifth Circuit upheld it under its prior decisions.   In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, 955 F.3d 508 (5th Cir. 2020), overruled by No. 20- 493, 2022 WL 2135494 (2022), the Fifth Circuit vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings. The court wrote that the Supreme Court granted the Pueblo’s petition and rejected Texas’s contention that Congress has allowed all of the state’s gaming laws to operate as surrogate federal law enforceable on the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Reservation.   Under the Court’s interpretation of the Restoration Act, “if a gaming activity is prohibited by Texas law”—that is, absolutely “banned in Texas”—then “it is also prohibited on tribal land as a matter of federal law.” But if the gaming activity is merely regulated by Texas law—that is, “by fixing the time, place, and manner in which the game may be conducted”—then it’s only “subject to tribal regulation” and “the terms and conditions set forth in federal law, including [the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act] to the extent it is applicable.” View "State of TX v. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, et al" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit held that the Restoration Act governs the legality of the Tribe's gaming operations, which bars gaming that violates Texas law, rather than the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which establishes federal standards for gaming on Indian lands. The court also held that the district court correctly enjoined the Tribe's gaming operations because the Tribe's operations run contrary to Texas's gaming law and the balance of the equities weighed in favor of the State. Finally, the court held that the Texas Attorney General had authority to bring suit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Texas v. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo" on Justia Law

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The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act restored the Tribe's status as a federally-recognized tribe and limited its gaming operations according to state law. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) broadly established federal standards for gaming on Indian lands.After IGRA was enacted, the Fifth Circuit determined that the Restoration Act and IGRA conflict and that the Restoration Act governs the Tribe's gaming activities. (Ysleta I). When the Tribe conducted gaming operations in violation of Texas law, the district court permanently enjoined that activity as a violation of the Restoration Act.The court affirmed the district court's refusal to dissolve the permanent injunction and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying relief from the permanent injunction. The court held that the Restoration Act and the Texas law it invokes—and not IGRA—governed the permissibility of gaming operations on the Tribe's lands. The court held that IGRA did not apply to the Tribe, and the National Indian Gaming Commission did not have jurisdiction over the Tribe. View "Texas v. Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas" on Justia Law

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This dispute arose out of a video game publishing agreement entered into by Timegate and Gamecock. Under the terms of the agreement, Timegate was to be the developer and Gamecock was to be the publisher of a futuristic military-style video game entitled "Section 8." When their business relationship deteriorated, the parties proceeded with arbitration and the arbitrator awarded Gamecock monetary compensation and a perpetual license in the video game's intellectual property. The district court vacated the arbitrator's award, determining that the perpetual license was not consistent with the "essence" of the underlying contract. Because the agreement bestowed broad remedial powers upon the arbitrator and because it was fraudulently induced and irreversibly violated by Timegate, the perpetual license was a rational and permissible attempt to compensate Gamecock and maintain the agreement's essence. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded, finding that the perpetual license was a remedy that furthered the essence of the publishing agreement. View "TimeGate Studios, Inc. v. Southpeak Interactive, L.L.C., et al" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a group of nonprofit organizations licensed to conduct bingo games, filed suit challenging restrictions on the Texas Bingo Enabling Act (Bingo Act), Tex. Occ. Code 2001.001 et seq. Plaintiffs challenged provisions in the Bingo Act that prohibited charities from using the money generated by conducting bingo games for lobbying activities or to support or oppose ballot measures. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs and issued a permanent injunction preventing enforcement of the challenged statutory provisions. The court reversed and held that the Bingo Act's restrictions on the use of bingo proceeds for political advocacy were permissible conditions on a government subsidy and did not operate to penalize speech. View "Dept of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars, et al v. Texas Lottery Commission, et al" on Justia Law