Seton Hall Law School: Gaming, Hospitality, Entertainment, and Sports Law Program (“GHamES”)

Betty Q. Hixson

GHamESAt Seton Hall Law, students are encouraged to combine their passions with their professional goals, and nowhere is that more evident than in the new Gaming, Hospitality, Entertainment, and Sports Law Program (“GHamES”). Seismic shifts in these industries – including the growing legalization of sports betting across the country, the changing status of collegiate athletics, the development of blockchain and NFT technologies, and the impact of COVID-19 on travel and recreation – have given rise to complex new legal issues and a pressing need for attorneys capable of understanding multi-jurisdictional regulatory frameworks, navigating relationships between adversarial stakeholders, protecting intellectual property and privacy rights, adjusting to unpredictability and volatility, and advising clients on the importance of compliance and business ethics. The GHamES program is designed to train students to meet these challenges and to continue to build the Law School’s reputation as a leader in legal education.

Recent Supreme Court decisions, a global pandemic, and continuing technological developments are reshaping the gaming, hospitality, entertainment and sports industries. New Jersey has played a central role in ushering in this new landscape, spearheading litigation that led to a 2018 Supreme Court decision allowing states to legalize sports betting and passing early legislation allowing student-athletes to profit from the use of their Name, Image, and Likeness (“NIL”). As a result, Seton Hall Law is uniquely situated to train students for legal careers in these fields. The GHamES program is invested in preparing students for careers in these interconnected industries; providing robust compliance education at all industry levels; encouraging industry professionals to adopt ethical business practices; promoting scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration on important legal and policy questions; and identifying ways to support positive outcomes for our communities.

The GHamES program is being overseen by Assistant Dean Devon Corneal ’03 who has made great strides in promoting and building the footprint of the program since she joined the Law School in January. Dean Corneal is developing J.D. and MLS curricula, unifying all substantive courses and content under a single umbrella, expanding applied learning opportunities, building internal and external relationships to foster research and policy development, and teaching an upper-level course on sports betting in the United States. In addition, Dean Corneal has recently been quoted in articles in both the New Jersey Law Journal where she shares insights on how sports betting in New Jersey is bringing on a compliance boom for lawyers and ROI-NJ where she identifies unresolved scenarios and concerns that face the emerging esports betting sector in New Jersey.

The GHamES program also continues to support existing offerings including speaker series, symposia, and compliance certificate programs. On March 3-4, the GHamES program hosted the 2nd Annual Sports Law Symposium, which brought together twenty prominent attorneys, scholars, athletes, and leaders, including keynote speakers Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, to discuss “Social Justice in Sports: How Social Justice Movements Will Shape the Landscape of Sports in the Future.” Panelists engaged with over 150 registrants to address topics including transgender participation in sports and the rise of women in traditionally male-dominated roles in the industry.

Cementing its role as the leader in gaming education on the East Coast, the Law School will host its 3rd Annual Gaming Law, Compliance, and Integrity Bootcamp on May 16-18. This three-day certificate program promotes legal compliance and integrity in the gaming industry by providing high quality and robust legal, compliance, and ethics education to professionals working or seeking to work in this space. To that end, the Bootcamp brings together compliance, ethics and integrity officers, legal counsel, gaming consultants, and regulatory professionals to explore gaming-related legislation, public policy, technological innovations, and ethical issues to understand and address emerging issues in the field.

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