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More than 15 law schools have added gambling courses to their curriculum in the last five years � with Harvard Law School joining the crowd for autumn 2008. “It’s a booming industry,” said Kevin Washburn, a professor at University of Minnesota Law School who will teach the Harvard course. “And teaching something isn’t endorsing it,” he said. “We teach criminal law, we aren’t endorsing crime. Gambling is a subject that is controversial and needs to be well-regulated.” A spokesman for Harvard confirmed that the course will be offered. Other schools to add the course recently are Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, and the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula. Even many religiously affiliated law schools have adopted the course, including Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson and Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Ala. Robert Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., surveyed the nation’s law schools to show the growth of gaming law courses. He found that more than 31 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association offer gaming law as an elective. Jarvis details the history of the trend in the June 2007 issue of the Gaming Law Review. “In the 1950s, you could only gamble in Nevada,” said Jarvis, adding that 25 years ago, no American law school taught gaming. “Now, except in Utah and Hawaii, there is gambling going on in all states, so it’s not surprising people are more interested in the subject.” Viewing ‘The Simpsons’ While each law school tailors its own gaming curriculum, most gambling law courses cover a policy discussion on whether gambling is good for society and the economy, as well as covering the regulations and aspects of setting up and running a business. Jarvis said a gambling course is “a microcosm of law school curriculum,” covering subjects including criminal law, administrative law, torts, contracts, sports law and employment law. At University of Montana School of Law, the course is given during one week of winter break, for one credit, said Scott Burnham, who teaches the course. The course begins by watching an episode of The Simpsons in which the town of Springfield decides to open a casino. “All the issues are in that episode,” said Burnham. “We talk about the pros and cons on whether gaming is good for the state and the community.” The course also spends time on Indian gaming and the Montana regulatory scheme, and has a social worker come in to discuss problem gambling, Burnham said. At University of Minnesota Law School, students spend much of the gambling seminar discussing whether gambling is a “good economic engine or not,” and why people want to gamble, Washburn said. Washburn’s course at Harvard Law School will also look at similar issues, focusing on the division between law and morality. Many of the courses also make field trips to local gambling establishments, Jarvis said, including the course he taught at Nova Southeastern University, where he took students to a casino cruise ship. The students were able to meet with the casino manager to talk about security issues, how much money the casino needs to cover its debt and the “black book” � a list of those banned from the premises � and how it works, he said. Religious deference Mississippi College School of Law decided not to offer a course specifically on gambling law because of the school’s affiliation with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Instead, the school offers a general regulated-industries course, of which gaming law is only a small part. “We did it as a matter of deference to our parent institution’s opposition to gambling,” said Phillip McIntosh, associate dean of the law school. “But obviously gambling is a large and significant industry in Mississippi with a large economic impact on the state. We can’t choose to ignore it.” Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, a Christian law school provisionally accredited by the American Bar Association, did not receive any resistance to holding a course on gambling law, said Joe Lester, who teaches the course. “We have academic freedom to teach what we like,” he said.

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