Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

It’s Time to Put All the Cards on the Table: An Exploration of the World of Trading Card Games

Session Title

Session 3-4-C: Legal Discussions – UNLV Law

Presenters

David SternFollow

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

30-5-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

30-5-2019 4:55 PM

Disciplines

Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Gaming Law

Abstract

IT’S TIME FOR WIZARDS TO GIVE UP THE ILLUSION AND SHOW THEIR CARDS: HOW WIZARDS OF THE COAST CIRCUMVENTS GAMING LAW TO MAKE MILLIONS.

This paper attempts to explore the contours of one of the world’s fastest growing trading card games and the potential impact of that growth if not properly regulated.

Magic The Gathering is the world’s most popular trading card game reaching millions of players in more than 48 countries around the globe. The game’s popular tournaments are held in different countries and attract both amateur and professional players of all ages. Regardless of where the tournament is held, whether a contest is between amateur or professional players, or whether the player is thirteen or thirty, it is always regulated by the game’s parent company; Wizards of the Coast.

The parallels between Magic the Gathering and traditional forms of gambling cannot be ignored. Similarly, Magic the Gathering has online versions akin to esports and tournaments that mirror highly regulated card tournaments such as The World Series of Poker. If Magic the Gathering is a form of gambling, then shouldn’t it also be regulated?

Questions of integrity and fair play are common place in Magic the Gathering tournaments where there are significant awards on the line. In some countries, fans can also place online bets on the outcomes of popular matches. Yet unlike professional sports and traditional gambling games, Magic the Gathering, in many ways like esports, caters – and is marketed towards – much younger customers. How might this effect problem gambling?

Perhaps the toughest question of all, how can trading card games be effectively regulated without having a chilling effect on the burgeoning trading card game industry?

Keywords

magic the gathering, gaming, problem gambling

Author Bio

David Stern is a J.D. Candidate from the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas (expected graduation May 2019) and President of the Gaming Law Society.

Stern has worked with some of the world's leading gaming corporations in different countries; including Boyd Gaming Corporation (USA), Marina Bay Sands (Singapore), and Venetian Macao (PRC).

He is an active member of the legal gaming community in Las Vegas and has had his works published in the Gaming Law Review and by the International Association of Gaming Advisors.

Funding Sources

Stern was a recipient of the Shannon Bybee Scholarship Award in 2018. Awarded by IAGA. Along with the reward was a financial scholarship. However, Stern received no funding during the writing process of this paper.

Competing Interests

The receipt of the Shannon Bybee award in no way impacts Stern's interests in submitting this paper or presenting this paper at this conference.

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May 30th, 3:30 PM May 30th, 4:55 PM

It’s Time to Put All the Cards on the Table: An Exploration of the World of Trading Card Games

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

IT’S TIME FOR WIZARDS TO GIVE UP THE ILLUSION AND SHOW THEIR CARDS: HOW WIZARDS OF THE COAST CIRCUMVENTS GAMING LAW TO MAKE MILLIONS.

This paper attempts to explore the contours of one of the world’s fastest growing trading card games and the potential impact of that growth if not properly regulated.

Magic The Gathering is the world’s most popular trading card game reaching millions of players in more than 48 countries around the globe. The game’s popular tournaments are held in different countries and attract both amateur and professional players of all ages. Regardless of where the tournament is held, whether a contest is between amateur or professional players, or whether the player is thirteen or thirty, it is always regulated by the game’s parent company; Wizards of the Coast.

The parallels between Magic the Gathering and traditional forms of gambling cannot be ignored. Similarly, Magic the Gathering has online versions akin to esports and tournaments that mirror highly regulated card tournaments such as The World Series of Poker. If Magic the Gathering is a form of gambling, then shouldn’t it also be regulated?

Questions of integrity and fair play are common place in Magic the Gathering tournaments where there are significant awards on the line. In some countries, fans can also place online bets on the outcomes of popular matches. Yet unlike professional sports and traditional gambling games, Magic the Gathering, in many ways like esports, caters – and is marketed towards – much younger customers. How might this effect problem gambling?

Perhaps the toughest question of all, how can trading card games be effectively regulated without having a chilling effect on the burgeoning trading card game industry?