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Personnel Profile: I. Nelson Rose

I. Nelson Rose is a well-known gambling industry attorney and runs the website “Gambling and the Law.com.” He’s also an avid potter.

How did you get into pottery?
I started around 2000. I had been wanting to try it ever since I saw the movie “Ghost” (if you have to ask, you haven’t seen the film). I tried it out at BruinWoods family camp and then my wife, Patricia, who is a journalist, made it a project to find the best place for me to learn. I work out of Cahuenga School of Pottery in North Hollywood. The Cahuenga School of Pottery isn’t really a collective or artists’ community, but it has that feel.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve done? Is there a current project you’re working on?
My favorite piece is a large plate that looks like the sun on an alien planet. I am best known for one, my bowls with feet, small bowls with legs and feet, modeled after a 5,000-year-old bowl found in a pyramid; two, brown clay bowls glazed only on the inside and a rough, raw, earthy outside; and three, a mixture of glazes I discovered which produces a glossy black with small blue clouds and silver spots, a lot like a telescopic view of the sky. I am now primarily learning how to work with porcelain, which is the most unforgiving of clays.

Are there particular artists or styles you’re influenced by?
I don’t think I have been particularly influenced by any artist or style, except my bowls with feet, which were inspired by this bowl. I’ve recently noticed my versions look somewhat like what Keith Haring would do, if his posters were three-dimensional pots. And, of course, I am greatly influenced by my teachers, including Harry S. Berman, Robert Miller and Nikki Lewis. I’ve also done a lot of traveling, especially Europe and Asia. I taught gaming law in China in 2004 and was there for six weeks, and am a visiting professor, teaching Gaming Law at the University of Macau every year. When Patricia and I travel, we always stop by museums and stores that have ceramics and have collected a lot of interesting pieces over the years.

You have a blog about gaming law?
I don’t yet write a blog, don’t have the time. I write two, three or four Gambling And The Law® columns every month and recently completely redid my website, www.GamblingAndTheLaw.com. Gambling and the Law® columns are internationally syndicated. More than 1,000 columns have been published from 1983 to the present covering all aspects of legal gambling. The column appears in Casino Enterprise Management, Poker Player, Casino City Times, iGaming Business, American Casino Guide, International Masters of Gaming Law and many other publications.

I’m often called upon to act as a consultant on legal gambling. My clients include the Arizona Department of Gaming, Delaware State Lottery, Florida State Senate, Illinois Gaming Board, Michigan State Lottery, Lotto Québec; Nevada and Atlantic City casinos, California gaming clubs, international corporations, Indian tribes, race tracks, Internet operators, players and major law firms.

I’ve testified as an expert witness in legislative and administrative hearings, including before the U.S. National Gambling Impact Study Commission, and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences; on behalf of the Federal Government of Mexico in the first NAFTA tribunal on gaming; before a joint session of the California Legislature, a joint session of the New Mexico Legislature, Oregon Governor’s Task Force on Gaming, Hawaii House of Representative’s Finance Committee; on behalf of the Texas Comptroller and New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement; and, in criminal and civil trials. I’ve advised the federal governments of Canada and the United States on legal gambling. I’ve testified in New Jersey, California, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Québec, Australia, New Zealand and other jurisdictions. I’ve testified as an expert in cases involving casino gaming; lotteries, including keno and the New York and California State Lotteries; bingo, including mechanical devices in Texas and California; Indian gaming; skill versus chance; the meaning of gambling terms and the legality of proposed games.

How did you start doing gaming law?
I was doing freelance writing before I entered Harvard Law School in 1976.  I did a piece that year for a magazine, to help me understand how to do legal research. In 1979, while still a student at Harvard Law School, I developed the theory of the Third Wave of Legal Gambling. I did a piece that year for a magazine, to help me understand how to do legal research. Examining the dates when laws had been enacted in the past, I concluded that legal gambling had twice before swept the nation. I correctly predicted that state lotteries, casinos and other forms of gambling would once again be made legal in the United States. According to the theory, legal gambling will continue to spread, until it is once again outlawed.

The Third Wave of Legal Gambling theory inspired both entrepreneurs and governments to expand legal gaming, in part because it showed how much money could be made by the initial operators. To quote my own article, “Suppose Prohibition of alcohol had just been repealed. The hypothetical owner of the first and only liquor store in a state would make a fantastic return on investment.”


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