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WSLL @ Your Service February 2024

Gambling in Wisconsin – Michael Keane

The Super Bowl generates renewed interest in Wisconsin's gambling laws. The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) says on their website that they receive "many inquiries each year regarding the legality of March Madness Brackets and Super Bowl ​Boards in which the participant pays for the chance to win money or other prizes dependent upon the outcome of the game(s). Please note that this is illegal gambling and unlawful under Wisconsin statutes. The only legal gambling allowed by statute in Wisconsin are charitable raffle and bingos conducted by licensed organizations, tribal casinos, pull tabs and the Wisconsin lottery." For a broad overview of how the law has changed over the years, we recommend The evolution of legalized gambling in Wisconsin, published by the Legislative Reference Bureau in 2012.

slot machines

Can I bet with a friend on the outcome of the Super Bowl?

A bet is defined under Wisconsin Statute 945.01(1)

"…a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance, even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement." 

Betting is prohibited under Wisconsin Statute 945.02(1), and is a Class B misdemeanor.

How can an organization run a bingo game to raise funds?

The state has authorized charitable gaming, including bingo games, for non-profits that have applied with the Division of Gaming for a license. These games are strictly regulated under Wisconsin Statute chapter 563. Administrative Code regulations are promulgated by the Division of Gaming. Charitable organizations looking for information on how to establish a raffle or bingo gaming program can turn to the Office of Charitable Gaming.

Is a punch board game at a local tavern illegal?

"Punch boards" are listed alongside gambling machines, numbers jars, and roulette wheels in Wisconsin Statute 945.05 "Dealing in gambling devices." Wisconsin Attorney General opinions from the early twentieth century examine punch boards as gambling devices. Read them at 9 Op.Atty.Gen. 143 (1920) and 28 Op.Atty.Gen. 312 (1939).

How can it be that so many taverns today have video gaming machines when gambling is said to be illegal in Wisconsin?

An FAQ from the Wisconsin Department of Administration says that "Video gaming devices are NOT legal anywhere in the State of Wisconsin except in authorized Tribal gaming facilities. Bars and taverns may offer five or fewer devices for amusement only, meaning they must be free to play or not provide anything of value as a prize. Any other video gaming devices are illegal." Wisconsin Statute 945.04 provides misdemeanor penalties for over five machines, and a scale of cash penalties for five or fewer machines in certain liquor licensed establishments.

How can the tribes in this state legally run their casino operations?

Gaming at tribal casinos operates under a different legal framework, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (PL 100-497) of 1988. Tribal gaming operations are negotiated by compacts between the state and the eleven federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin, as required by the 1988 federal law. The Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance is the authorized state entity in Wisconsin to ensure concurrent regulation of casino gaming between the state and tribal authorities, and publishes FAQs and other information on their website. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau publishes a lengthy informational paper on Tribal gaming in Wisconsin.

What is the legal status of the large online sporting books that have become common?

Gambling in general in Wisconsin is punishable by a Class B misdemeanor, under Wisconsin Statute 945.02. However, Wisconsin is one of the states where tribal sports betting is authorized (50 state sports betting laws, NCSL, 2023). There has been an expansion of sports betting under the permissions granted to the state's eleven federally recognized tribes. This began following a 2018 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court declaring a federal law strictly limiting sports betting unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment. Since the decision in Murphy v. NCAA, 584 US 483, a number of tribes in Wisconsin have amended their gaming compacts with the state to provide for "Event Wagering" on sporting or other similar events.

Photo credit: adrian_ilie825 - stock.adobe.com.

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New jury instruction releases for January 2024 – Carol Hassler

The January 2024 releases of the Children's, Civil, and Criminal jury instructions are now available at https://wilawlibrary.gov/jury/. The Wisconsin Jury Instructions are created and edited by the Wisconsin Jury Instructions Committees of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference.

The Children's instructions feature new and updated instructions for 2024. This set was last updated in January 2023.

The Civil instructions feature new and updated instructions for January 2024. This set was last updated in July 2023.

The Criminal instructions feature new and updated instructions, as well as two renumbered instructions, for January 2024. This set was last updated in July 2023.

The printable releases can be downloaded at any time from the "Update releases" page for each set. https://wilawlibrary.gov/jury/

Blank pages have been inserted to make double sided printing easier. File new, updated, and revised instructions, along with the updated tables and index in your print set. Complete printable files of each instruction set and finding aids are also available for those who need to print a complete set. Download them at https://wilawlibrary.gov/jury

For information on the status of the Committee's work, please contact Bryce Pierson at bryce.pierson@wicourts.gov.

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New Books – Chris Schroeder

book cover

New Edition: Student Loan Law, by Anna Anderson, Abby Shafroth, Alpha Taylor, Kyra Taylor
Call Number: KF 4235 .L66 2023

This book provides a detailed overview of the rapidly changing landscape in the field of student loans. It outlines crucial steps for borrowers as they navigate the conclusion of a 33-month payment pause and explores the possibilities for a fresh start, including relief for those in default and expedited loan cancellation for income-driven repayment participants. The text delves into various aspects of student loan borrower rights, covering topics such as financial hardship deferments, income-driven repayment plans, and options to emerge from default. It also addresses critical issues like loan discharges based on school closure, deceptive practices, and borrower disability, offering valuable insights into minimizing collection fees and navigating legal challenges. The book's scope extends to multiple types of student loans, encompassing Federal Direct Loans, Old Guaranteed Student Loans, Perkins Loans, and private student loans.
Topics covered:

  • Loan deferments
  • Repayment plans
  • Loan discharges
  • Perkins loans
  • Private student loans

book cover

New Edition: ABA Compendium of Professional Responsibility Rules and Standards, American Bar Association
Call Number: KF 306 .A733 2023
The 2023 edition of this book is an important resource for legal professionals, covering essential legal ethics materials for daily practice and scholarly research. Featuring newly released ethics opinions, it provides current insights into changing professional regulations. The Compendium presents models for ethical conduct developed by the American Bar Association, influencing state regulations and court interpretations of professional responsibility issues. In addition to Federal Rules and Standards impacting general law practice, SEC, and IRS proceedings, the book offers valuable insights into the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, explaining the formulation and interpretation of ABA ethics rules.
Topics include:

  • Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Code of professional Responsibility
  • Code of Judicial Conduct
  • Rules for Client Protection
  • Formal Ethics Opinions

New books

See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources. For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

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Tech Tip – Heidi Yelk

Should I accept cookies?

Web users have become accustomed to the "cookie pop-up" asking to "accept cookies / manage cookies / decline cookies." It's tempting to simply plow through and accept all cookies (resistance is futile). But what are you agreeing to and when should you decline?

Websites use a variety of cookies. Some are routine. These cookies, stored on your computer, simply help the website recognize repeat users and may include stored data such as user names, preferences, and shopping carts. Generally, this information is between you and the website. A good reason to accept these first-party cookies is because they do improve the experience on that one particular website. (See this Wikipedia page for details on types of cookies.)

Privacy concerns are raised when a website uses third-party cookies. These cookies go beyond your activity on one site and can track you across several sites, creating a more detailed snapshot of your web activity. Unlike first party cookies, third party cookies are not necessary to enhance the user experience. Third party cookies may results in targeted advertising that follows you across the web. You can block third-party cookies using the privacy settings in your browser. Here's how to do it in some modern browsers:

Once third party cookies are blocked via the browser settings, this setting overrides third party cookie requests from websites.

Other cookie issues

Before accepting cookies, consider the website. Experts recommend looking for https in the address bar and ensuring that the address bar shows a symbol to indicate the website is using encryption. If you cannot trust the website, don't accept cookies.

Some websites will not work properly if you do not accept cookies. Cookies stored on your computer are small but many, many cookies can take up a lot of space. You can clear space by deleting cookies in your browser settings. Deleting cookies will result in the website not remembering you the next time you visit.

Some websites provide an easy gateway to manage cookies on their site. For an example, visit https://www.mercurynews.com/ and click on the cookie graphic on any page to select or de-select types of cookies. Note that this website requires users to accept "essential cookies" for basic website functionality.

Cookies example

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Library News – Carol Hassler

Expanded Westlaw in courthouse libraries

This year we've added new content to the Westlaw access on the public computers at our two branch libraries, the Milwaukee County Law Library and the Dane County Law Library. Both libraries, located in their respective courthouses, now provide access to Wisconsin Verdicts and Settlements, Dockets, PDF files of scanned reporters, and Wisconsin trial court documents. Public access to these resources and more continues to be available on the David T. Prosser Jr. Library's public computers and wireless network Westlaw access.

Legal research classes

Webinars for 2024 are now open for registration through the Wisconsin State Law Library. Registration for each webinar is limited to 100. Registrations will be approved weekly by the moderator. Once your registration is approved, you will get an email confirmation with connection information. Please reach out to Michael Keane with questions about the class and Jaden Henneman with questions about registering.

Introduction to Wisconsin Legislative History
Wednesday, February 21, noon-1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Introduction to Wisconsin Legislative History
I need the legislative history of a Wisconsin statute. Where do I start? What do I do? Participants will look at the primary resources used to research Wisconsin legislative history, learn about the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files, and learn some helpful tips and tricks along the way. This introductory class covers basic research strategies and sources.

Wisconsin Legislative History - Budget Bill Calamities
Wednesday, March 20, noon-1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Wisconsin Legislative History - Budget Bill Calamities
Statutory provisions created by a budget bill pose special problems in legislative history research. The budget bill process is complex and the drafting file created during the process is even more daunting. Learn how to identify statutes created by budget bills and how to navigate the drafting file. This advanced class covers additional techniques used in budget bill research.

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February Snapshot

Snowmen on the square

Snowmen on the Square

Winter snow finally arrived in Madison last month. These happy snowmen are two of several that appeared on the Capitol lawn after two snowstorms, bringing approximately 15 inches of snow to the area.

We are accepting snapshots! Do you have a photo highlighting libraries, attractions or points of historical interest? Send your photo the editor at carol.hassler@wicourts.gov to be included in a future issue.

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