Christopher L. Soriano

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Christopher L. Soriano, a member of the firm's Trial Practice Group, concentrates his practice on gaming law and commercial litigation.

As a gaming lawyer, Mr. Soriano has represented a wide range of stakeholders in the gaming industry—casinos, private equity and hedge funds, lottery companies, gaming technology manufacturers and equipment suppliers, and individuals—in all aspects of the licensing and regulatory process. He also focuses on the legal implications of cutting edge issues such as sports betting, internet gaming, fantasy sports, and internet lottery. He has experience before numerous gaming regulatory bodies including the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission. He has conducted internal investigations of gaming companies and advised clients with respect to compliance and control enhancements. He has assisted with gaming license applications in many states and provinces in the United States and Canada. He has also represented gaming industry clients in administrative actions and in litigation. He is regularly featured in various mainstream and gaming industry publications commenting on developing issues in gaming law, frequently speaks on these subjects, and contributes to the Duane Morris LLP Gaming Law Blog.

As a litigator, Mr. Soriano has a wide variety of experience in state and federal courts, having litigated in many different areas, such as health care, public contracting, election law, and class actions.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Mr. Soriano is a 2003 cum laude graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he was a staff member and business editor of Temple Law Review. He is a 2000 magna cum laude graduate of George Washington University, having majored in political science. Prior to entering the practice of law, Mr. Soriano served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Thomas J. Rueter, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Soriano is active in his community, having been appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a member, Vice Chair, and now Chair of the Court’s District IV Ethics Committee, covering Camden and Gloucester Counties. He serves as Chairman of the Planning Board of his hometown of Haddon Heights, where he has also served as chairman and chief strategist of several successful local political campaigns. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Order Sons of Italy in America, Lodge 2311, and volunteers as a youth baseball coach.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ritz Theatre Company, a non-profit theater located in Haddon Township, New Jersey.

Representative Matters

  • Represented GameCo, Inc., the creator of the world's first skill-based video game gambling machines (VGM™), in acquiring approvals from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to debut its product at Atlantic City casinos.
  • Legal counsel to American Racing and Entertainment, LLC, parent company of Tioga Downs Racetrack, LLC, in securing a $90 million senior secured debt facility that will enable the full scale, $145 million casino expansion of Tioga Downs in New York state.
  • Represented Tropicana Entertainment Inc. in entering into a Management Agreement pursuant to which it would manage the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel and provide consulting services relating to the former Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Representation also includes formation of TEI Management Services LLC and the pursuit of required gaming regulatory approvals.
  • Representing Virtua Health Inc. and Capital Health System Inc. in a case against the state of New Jersey, seeking to hold unconstitutional as "special legislation" a law that transfers the right to provide emergency medical services from Virtua and Capital to other hospitals without regard to the established regulatory structure.
  • Obtained a ruling from a New Jersey appeals court affirming the denial of a motion to vacate a domesticated Maryland judgment based on due process in a dispute over a breached gasoline supply agreement.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Virtua Health, Inc., a health system of four hospitals in southern New Jersey, against Deborah Heart and Lung Center, a specialty hospital in southern New Jersey, in federal antitrust litigation in which the court held Deborah failed to show any adverse effect on competition in the market.
  • Obtained on behalf of the parents of a seventh grade child diagnosed with autism in the Gloucester Township, NJ school district a ruling from a New Jersey administrative law judge affirming a previous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit calling for the child's educational placement to be redrawn because the school district's proposed placement did not afford her an education in the "least restrictive environment" as required by federal law.
  • Represented NYX Gaming Group in its acquisition of OnGame Network Limited and OnGame Services AB from Amaya Gaming Group. The acquisition provides NYX Gaming Group with a poker platform and gives them an amplified presence in the New Jersey Internet gaming market.
  • Represented NYX Gaming Group in its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, including handling all gaming regulatory due diligence and authoring both a gaming regulatory opinion letter and a corporate opinion letter.
  • Represented a family-owned gaming business in its merger with a public company, to form a new publicly traded company that will operate six casino resorts nationwide.
  • Represented Tioga Downs Racetrack, LLC in all aspects of a comprehensive, competitive process that resulted in the New York Gaming Facility Location Board authorizing Tioga Downs to move forward with a license for its $195 million full scale casino expansion project at its existing racetrack outside Binghamton, New York.
  • Represented as regulatory counsel Bally Technologies, Inc. in its acquisition of gaming technology company SHFL entertainment, Inc. in a deal valued at approximately $1.3 billion.
  • Represented Xerox State Health Care Services, LLC in securing a final Administrative Determination and Order from the New Jersey Government Records Counsel protecting its sensitive business information from public disclosure.
  • Represented the effective owners of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in obtaining a dissolution of an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) concerning a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement involving an entity affiliated with a company that does business as PokerStars.
  • Represented Sportech PLC in the acquisition of eBet Online Inc. by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sportech, Inc.
  • Obtained a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that a district court erred by denying a preliminary injunction in a corporate governance dispute involving a closely held limited liability company. Health & Body Store, LLC v. JustBrand Ltd., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9604 (3d Cir. May 11, 2012).
  • RIH Acquisitions NJ, LLC v. City of Atlantic City - Obtained on behalf of Atlantic Club Casino Hotel a tax credit in the approximate amount of $19.44 million in the settlement of a tax assessment litigation case.
  • Counsel to major Canadian distributor of professional hair care and beauty supply products joined as third party defendant in pending Lanham Act litigation involving claims that distributor was engaged in supplying counterfeit professional products to the defendant. Obtained dismissal on behalf of distributor from United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Represented one of the world’s largest gaming companies in receiving approvals for a complex financing transaction, which presented an issue of first impression before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
  • Served as a member of a multidisciplinary team that concluded several casino acquisitions in Atlantic City.
  • Regularly represent a number of high net worth individuals and their affiliated businesses in the gaming licensing process.
  • Represented a lottery technology provider in one of the largest successful bid protests in New Jersey history.
  • Represented a major worldwide television and internet retailer in the defense of several class actions brought against it based on its sales practices.
  • Represented the court chartered settlement trust in a $3.6 billion nationwide class action settlement, including extensive appellate practice resulting in several published opinions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Obtained on behalf of parents of a disabled child a ruling that parents have a right to meaningful participation in the development of their children's Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and that children with disabilities must be afforded Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in light of their abilities.

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2003
    - Business Editor and Staff Member, Temple Law Review
  • The George Washington University, B.A, magna cum laude, 2000

Professional Activities

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
    - Trustee, Casino Law Section, 2015-present
    - Chairman of Casino Law Section, 2014-2015
    - Vice-Chair and Legislative Coordinator, Casino Law Section, 2013-2014
    -- Young Lawyers' Division

  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, District IV Ethics Committee
    - Chair, 2016-2018 Term
    - Vice Chairman, 2014-2016 Term
    - Member, 2012-2014 Term

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient of Duane Morris 2015 Pro Bono Award
  • Selected as one of the New Jersey Law Journal's "2015 New Leaders of the Bar"
  • Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers "Rising Stars," 2011, 2012, 2016–2018

No aspect of these rankings has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "The Evolving Legal Landscape of Gaming in Pennsylvania 2019," Webinar, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 11, 2019

  • Speaker, "Sports Betting in New Jersey and Beyond: States Hit the Jackpot with Murphy V. NCAA," Rutgers Law School, Camden, New Jersey, November 30, 2018

  • Speaker, "Sports Betting and the U.S. Supreme Court - Now What?" Duane Morris Annual Alumni CLE, Philadelphia, October 25, 2018

  • Speaker, "You Bet Your Life – Legalization of Sports Betting," Villanova Law Alumni Association Professional Development Committee CLE, Philadelphia, October 16, 2018

  • Speaker, "Gaming in New York and Beyond – Looking to the Future," Duane Morris LLP, New York, August 15, 2018

  • Speaker, "Trends in Internet Gaming and Other Developments in the Gaming Industry," myLaw CLE Webinar, July 27, 2018

  • Speaker, "Sports Betting Update: How Murphy V. NCAA (2018) Changed the Game" NJICLE Webinar, August 1, 2018

  • Speaker, "Gaming Law: Understanding the Radical Revamp of Pennsylvania's Industry," PBI CLE, SugarHouse Casino, Philadelphia, June 20, 2018

  • Speaker, "Trends in Internet Gaming," Lawline CLE Webinar, June 18, 2018

  • Speaker, "Current Status of New Jersey's Gambling Laws: What's Permitted and What Isn't," Seton Hall Law School's Continuing Legal Education, March 1, 2018

  • Speaker, "Mastering Fantasy Sports and Online Gaming Law CLE," Telephonic Seminar, February 28, 2018

  • Guest on Chuck and Julie discussing the Supreme Court case about sports gambling in the U.S., February 1, 2018

  • Speaker, "The Big Bet: A Preview of the Supreme Court's Hearing on Legalized Sports Betting," The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law Speaker Series, Villanova, October 11, 2017
  • Speaker, "Legal Issues in the Gaming Industry: A Focus on Gaming Expansion," Lawline CLE Webinar, September 8, 2017
  • Speaker, "Down the Shore 2017: What's Next for Atlantic City?," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Atlantic City, August 10, 2017
  • Speaker, "What's Next for Atlantic City?," NJSBA 2017 Annual Conference and Convention, Atlantic City, May 17, 2017
  • Panelist, "The Future of Sports Betting," Duane Morris LLP CLE Seminar, Philadelphia, April 27, 2017
  • Guest, "In The Gate #298 - Deal or No Deal," ESPN Podcast, January 18, 2017
  • Speaker, "2016: A Year to Hold'em or a Year to Fold'em," New Jersey State Bar Association: Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Webinar, December 9, 2016
  • Presenter, "Fantasy Sports: The Gate to Legal Inquiry Has Opened," New Jersey State Bar Association: Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Webinar, March 23, 2016
  • Speaker, "The Laws of Online Gambling," Winick & Wagner on the Law, March 12, 2016
  • Speaker, "Predeterminations — Do They Deprive Students of a Proper Education?," Hot New Topics in Special Education in 2015 seminar, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), October 14, 2015
  • Speaker, "The Gaming Industry and the Future of Atlantic City," New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting, May 15, 2015 (panel with Senator Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Mayor Don Guardian, and Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck)
  • Speaker, "6th Forum on US Online Gaming," C5 (UK), New York City, May 12, 2015
  • Speaker, "Gaming Law 2013: A Review of This Year's Developments in Online Gaming," NJICLE Webinar, December 5, 2013
  • Speaker, Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Primer on Mechanics' Liens and Bond Claims, Philadelphia, August 30, 2011
  • Speaker, Sterling Education Services' Construction Law A to Z, Philadelphia, December 9, 2008