Table game supplier MAO Gaming has initiated a legal battle against Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado, a property of Penn Entertainment, alleging trademark infringement related to MAO’s STREAK blackjack game.
Mississippi-based MAO, which held the rights to the STREAK variant of blackjack from December 1, 2001, claims that Ameristar Black Hawk infringed on its trademarks. STREAK is a side bet on traditional blackjack tables enabling bettors to wager on the frequency of being dealt blackjack. This game variation maintains considerable popularity across Las Vegas and regional casinos.
In a suit filed in the US District Court for the District of Colorado, MAO’s counsel asserts that Ameristar Black Hawk profited from the “unauthorized and unlicensed use of MAO’s marks” through its advertising, promotional efforts, and offerings.
According to the legal paperwork, Ameristar Casino Black Hawk intentionally neglected its contractual obligations and infringed on MAO’s STREAK® brand, despite nearly fifteen years of licensed usage. The casino is accused of enabling unlicensed utilize STREAK® blackjack table games, one of the most successful offerings in the genre.
MAO further maintains that the alleged infringement of the STREAK trademarks continued unhindered for two years at the Black Hawk casino hotel.
Contracts renewed annually between Penn and the gaming supplier distinctly clarified that STREAK was the “exclusive property” of the supplier. The Colorado Casino Gaming Commission (CCGC) further stipulated that operators desiring to feature the blackjack side bets needed to acquire a license from MAO and adhere to the game’s patent holder’s rules.
MAO’s counsel deems the actions of Ameristar and Penn as willful and intentional, given the discourse in the contracts highlighting the exclusive proprietorship of all STREAK® products, the obligation of acquiring a license to operate, and the contractual agreement stipulation treated the operation of STREAK® without a license as wilful infringement.
MAO conclusively alleged that Ameristar Black Hawk must be aware of the exclusive licensing rights concerning the STREAK game, given the clarity of their contracts.
The case adds to the legal troubles of Black Hawk, the smallest town in Colorado but home to the state’s largest gaming scene. As it ranks as the 10th-largest and fastest-growing in America, public companies operating within – Bally’s, Caesars Entertainment, Monarch Casino & Resort, and Penn – could potentially experience investment implications.