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Sports Fan unhappyBenjamin Riesenberg is a former Garvey Schubert Barer legal extern who worked out of the firm’s New York office. He was a law student at Brooklyn Law School.

As the popularity of fantasy sports grows, so do the legal issues surrounding the industry.  The main legal challenges facing fantasy sports have been centered on the issue of whether pay-to-play fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling.  In 2006, Congress passed The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”), which created certain guidelines for fantasy sports.  For a pay-to-play fantasy sports contest to be legal under the UIGEA, the fantasy sports game must have a result that is predominantly based on the knowledge of participants as opposed to mere chance.

The decision of a Los Angeles probate judge on Monday, July 28, 2014, provides a glimpse into the private lives of owners of an NBA franchise.

Judge Michael Levanas, in the Sterling Family Trust matter, evaluated the testimony of both Shelly Sterling and Donald Sterling, found Mrs. Sterling to be more credible and issued a tentative oral ruling giving her authority to move forward with the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Mrs. Sterling entered into the sale as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust.

As a general rule, in accordance with IRC § 61, the value of any prize or award a taxpayer receives is subject to taxation. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §§ 74 and 117 provide limited exceptions to this general rule.

IRC § 74 specifically excludes from the income of the recipient certain employee achievement awards and certain prizes or awards transferred to charitable organizations prior to receipt. IRC § 117 specifically excludes from the income of the recipient “qualified scholarship” proceeds. These exceptions are subject to rigid qualifications.

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The Sports, Arts and Entertainment Group at Garvey Schubert Barer provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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