It is a frustrating last quarter of 2023 for Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. This is because the casino has been sued twice already in October.
On October 4, 2023, Joseph Shiraef talked to Problem Solvers about his arrest in October 2021. Joseph was detained for counting cards while playing a blackjack game at the Ameristar Casino in Colorado. He confirmed that he had filed a lawsuit against the casino.
Now, MAO Gaming is suing, too. Coincidentally, it involves a blackjack game, too.
MAO Gaming is a table games supplier based in Mississippi. It holds exclusive rights to the STREAK blackjack variation since December 2001.
STREAK is a side bet on the usual blackjack game, allowing players to wager on the number of times they are dealt blackjack. According to the filed lawsuit, Ameristar Casino infringed on the STREAK trademark by advertising, promoting, and offering the blackjack variation without permission from MAO.
The legal document explained that Ameristar Casino renewed its license to use the STREAK brand every year for the past fifteen years. It continues to explain that the casino willingly ignored its obligations according to the contract between the two parties.
According to the legal document, the casino operator, Penn Entertainment, knowingly used the STREAK trademark for the past two years without a permit from MAO Gaming.
STREAK Is an Exclusive Property
According to the counsel for MAO, Penn previously committed with the gaming supplier. The contract specified that STREAK was an exclusive property for MAO Gaming.
Moreover, the Colorado Casino Gaming Commission had also instructed casino operators seeking to offer STREAK to gain a license from MAO Gaming.
According to the gaming control board, a casino offering the side bet is supposed to adhere to the rules of the trademark owner. This, therefore, shows that Ameristar and PENN willingly and intentionally violated the trademark.
According to the MAO counsel, PENN had previously agreed via contract that it had no right to use STREAK products without a license. The council also explains that PENN had stipulated that if they used STREAK without permission, it was, in fact, infringing the trademark.
The Colorado Casino Gaming Control had clear instructions of how casino operators can use STREAK. For instance, this side bet can only be played at blackjack tables showing the approved STREAK table layout. Moreover, these tables should only have one STREAK button for each player’s position.
Did PENN Infringe the Trademark Knowingly?
Black Hawk is the smallest town in Colorado. However, it is the state’s largest gaming hub. This town also ranks 10th as the fastest-growing town in the country.
This leaves investment implications because four gambling operators in Black Hawk are publicly traded companies. This includes PENN, Monarch Casino and Resort, Bally, and Caesars Entertainment.
MAO insists that PENN should have known that it only needed a license to generate revenue from STREAK. This means PENN conducted its business deceptively. Ideally, the casino operator made inaccurate market statements under its reporting and transparency obligations as a publicly traded firm.