The Internet and Entrepreneurs: A Special Niche is Developing

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With a global reach of more than a billion people, Internet entrepreneurs continue to look for ways to bring traditional promotions and competitive entertainment to a broader global audience. Recent federal regulations have cracked down on Internet gambling involving games of chance. As a result, companies are seeking new ways to capitalize on the Internet gaming industry, and two of the hottest emerging markets are Internet sweepstakes and skill-based gaming. And as Internet businesses continue to grow, the need for legal advisors who know the intricacies of this terrain increases. Lewis and Roca attorneys Tony Cabot and Leanne Dodds are among those gaming attorneys who practice in this special niche.

Rapid technological advancements and changes in federal regulations have made this an exciting practice niche. Internet sweepstakes, and particularly skill-based gaming, are finally getting the profile recognition needed for mass commercialization. According to Dodds, attorneys are just starting to climb the apex for these markets, and the challenge of executing these kinds of deals for clients with so many moving parts and players is exciting and cutting-edge.

"Activities like sweepstakes, promotions, and contests that appeal to the gambling instinct often have had a sordid legal history," said Dodds. "Most U.S. states have laws that generally prohibit gambling, but not all such activities are illegal. It creates some very interesting legal challenges when working in this area of the law."

As long as the public has an unfulfilled demand for a gambling experience, entrepreneurs will continue to test the boundaries of legal sweepstakes and contests to meet these demands.

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