Racing And Gaming Law Conference Returns With An Interactive, Discussion-Based Feel - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Racing And Gaming Law Conference Returns With An Interactive, Discussion-Based Feel

This year, as regulators and racing/gaming executives make their annual summer pilgrimage to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., another edition of a long-running law conference will be on the agenda for many. Launched in 2001, the Racing and Gaming Conference at Saratoga will see its second edition under new management this year Aug. 15-17.

Attorney Patrick Brown, co-founder of Brown & Weinraub, fully took over the popular event from the Albany Law School ahead of last year's edition.

Find some of our archived coverage from this conference here, here, and here.

After many years being involved with organizing it, Brown said he's learned a few lessons from running it himself, many of them logistical. The event will return to the Saratoga Hilton after being held at the 1863 Club on the racetrack's dark days last year.

Brown has continued the gradual shift of the event away from law school-style lectures (though the event still does offer continuing education credit for attorneys) and more discussion-based panels.

“The conference is not intended to be a mere lecture hall, but more a salon,” he said. “A place where smart, committed people exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest; formally in the large panel sessions and informally in smaller groups in the hallway. The goal is to not only report on the latest changes in law and regulation but to inform the discussion leading to the next law or reg.

“To accomplish our goals we must find speakers who are not only capable of telling the audience what happened last year, but willing to risk an opinion on what ought to happen next year. I am very pleased with the group of speakers we have assembled for the conference this year and look forward to a robust exchange of ideas.”

This year's agenda will include one and a half days of sessions, one of which will be focused on various forms of gaming. The half day on Aug. 17 will examine racing topics.

Why the shift towards more gaming-focused sessions?

“The conference has evolved over the past two decades,” said Brown. “When the conference began in 2001, parimutuel wagering on horse racing and the lottery were the only legal wagering opportunities available in New York. VLTs had yet to be approved by the legislature. The conference was a single day, dealt almost exclusively with New York horse racing, and was geared to lawyers and legislative staff. Twenty-two years later, wagering on horse racing does not stand alone; it is part of a broad array of gambling options. New York does not stand alone; gambling proliferation and therefore regulation is national and international. And, the issues confronting the gambling industry are not purely legal, sometimes they are not legal at all.

“Last, this year particularly, many of the 'nuts and bolts' horseman issues we might address are being covered at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference being held in Saratoga in late July. Rather than duplicate the excellent work being done there, we placed our priorities elsewhere this year.”

Tuesday's sessions include panels looking at the downstate casino expansion, the future of sports betting, and online casinos. Wednesday's racing sessions include looks at HISA, the impacts of NFTs and the Metaverse on horse racing, fixed odds wagering, and aftercare.

To see the full agenda, click here.

Register for the event here.

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