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Melanie Porter October 26, 2023 3 min read
MAO Gaming Sues Ameristar Casino Over Trademark Infringement
MAO Gaming has announced it would sue Ameristar Casino Black Hawk in Colorado for allegedly using blackjack tables featuring the MAO trademark in an unlawful manner
Table game supplier MAO Gaming has filed a lawsuit against Ameristar Casino Black Hawk in Colorado for allegedly violating patented STREAK-branded blackjack game rights.
PENN Accused of “Knowingly, Intentionally and Willfully” Ignoring the Contract
Using the voice and expertise of its lawyers who filed the lawsuit with the US Court for the District of Colorado, MAO explained the reason behind its decision to sue the casino that is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by PENN Entertainment.
MAO argued that after close to 15 years of “annually-renewed licensed use” at Ameristar Casino, PENN Entertainment “knowingly, intentionally and willfully” ignored its contract obligations and infringed on the company’s well-known STREAK brand.
MAO claims this has been done by “facilitating unlicensed STREAK blackjack table games,” which it described as one of the most successful casino table games in history. The lawsuit also claims that the unlawful use of MAO’s trademarks has been occurring for two years in spite of the contract specifically mentioning that STREAK was the supplier’s “exclusive property.”
Special Requirements for STREAK Side Bet Tables
The trademark that Ameristar is accused of having allegedly infringed upon is the STREAK side bet on blackjack tables carrying the MAO Gaming seal of approval. The respective side bet refers to a wager on the number of consecutive times that a player would be dealt blackjack (21).
In order for a casino to add such a game to its offering, the layouts of its blackjack tables should comply with specific setup requirements.
The Colorado Casino Gaming Commission has explained these requirements. Namely, blackjack tables need to display the approved STREAK table layout while being equipped with an approved STREAK button corresponding to the positions of each of the players in the game.
The respective button should have “distinctive markings as specified by MAO Gaming” and should also display the logo or name of the retail licensee that is offering the game.
Since all this information was clearly detailed in their contract, MAO Gaming claims that “all parties are supposed to be aware” of it, especially given the fact that PENN’s business revolves around casino gaming operations.
In the court filing, MAO’s counsel also argued that Ameristar Casino/PENN had agreed, through their contract, that all STREAK-branded products were MAO’s exclusive property which they were not allowed to use without a license.
They also claimed that Ameristar participated in “deceptive practices” when they made “inaccurate market statements” in order to continue to use STREAK without their approval.
In the meanwhile, PENN Entertainment and ESPN are getting ready for the imminent launch of ESPN BET in November.