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"Their knowledge of the gaming laws and regulations, and their relationships with all the key gaming regulatory agencies, is unparalleled." - Chambers USA

The business environment of the past few years has created new challenges and opportunities for participants in the gaming sector. Lewis Roca helps online and land-based gaming entities chart a clear path to success.

From startups in the eSports arena, to casinos looking to expand their footprint to companies offering online promotions to Native American tribal nations attempting to recover COVID-19-induced losses, clients turn to us for vigorous advocacy and creative solutions.

Led by industry leaders Karl Rutledge and Glenn Light, our team is a respected force in the gaming space. Our work has earned recognition from prestigious legal ranking bodies, including Benchmark Litigation as well as Chambers USA, which called our “knowledge of the gaming laws and regulations and [our] relationships with all the key gaming regulatory agencies, unparalleled.” We maintain a finger on the pulse of the latest developments as well as a broad network of relationships with gaming regulatory agencies, and we routinely publish in leading publications such as Vegas Inc., Nevada Business Magazine, and Global Gaming Magazine.

Services

Lewis Roca draws on a deep knowledge of the complex regulatory framework governing the gaming industry to develop comprehensive strategies that advance our clients’ business goals. Our lawyers help clients leverage new opportunities across a wide variety of commercial gaming jurisdictions, both U.S.-based and international. Casino operators, Indian gaming groups, equipment suppliers, investors, investment banks, and other companies doing business in the industry value our experience dealing with all aspects of gaming, from operations and technology to regulations and licensing at the state and federal level.

Moreover, our gaming lawyers have unique experience and knowledge that sets us apart from our competitors in the interactive gaming space and help clients achieve their business goals. Our team has been on the forefront of this sector since the beginning when users first started challenging friends on the Internet in friendly competitions to the latest developments in eSports, Daily Fantasy, and prizeless social gaming.

Lewis Roca also provides gaming-related counsel to non-gaming companies. For example, we represent national advertising companies, payment processors, geo-location and patron identification providers, service providers, and social media platforms as they look to partner with, market, and provide services to gaming companies. These companies rely on us for legal advice regarding assessment of how gambling laws impact them, structuring of business deals to minimize risk and potential licensing as well as maintaining compliance with gaming regulations.

Some of our key focus areas include:

In addition to our key focus areas we handle all ancillary areas that touch upon gaming, including:

  • Corporate structuring, corporate governance, and counsel
  • Employment
  • Financing
  • Intellectual property and trade secrets protection
  • Legislative and regulatory monitoring and adoption
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tribal state gaming compacts and agreements

Our Experience

  • Casino Owner and Operator. Serving as lead counsel to a casino owner and operator which, in the span of approximately three years, has purchased four hotel/casino properties in Nevada, a publicly traded gaming company, numerous public card room operations in Washington state, a manufacturer of gaming-related equipment, and three casinos in Colorado. We provided counsel on nearly every aspect of these complex transactions, including licensing, structuring ownership and management, and financing, as well as drafting numerous ancillary agreements relating to hotel and casino operations, staffing, and vendors.
  • Fantasy Sports Provider. Serving as both interactive gaming and sports wagering counsel for a leading provider of online fantasy sports contests and sports wagering operations. Our client’s core product is a daily fantasy sports contest model (DFS), which awards cash prizes to successful contestants on a much faster and more exciting pace than traditional season-long fantasy sports offerings. We conduct comprehensive evaluations and analysis of our client’s current and proposed product offerings under applicable federal and state gambling laws, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia. After extensive analysis and evaluation, we work with our client to minimize the risks inherent in their service and obtain maximum market exposure as a skill-based gaming service.
  • Mobile eSports. Serving as lead interactive gaming counsel for our client, a worldwide leader in mobile eSports, which has hosted more than 40 million mobile tournaments for players in over 180 countries. The company’s unique tournament management system can be integrated into any mobile game, enabling developers to offer eSports competitions to their users. We work with the client to minimize risk concerning their service and reach maximum market exposure as a skill-based gaming service.
  • Game Publisher and Creator. Serving as lead interactive gaming counsel for one of the world’s top game publishers and creators. We work with our client to reach maximum market exposure as a skill-based gaming service. In order to minimize potential legal risks of the service, we assess the skill levels of games, along with the company’s methodology to identify and block games that are materially dependent upon luck or chance. As interactive gaming issues are fluid and may change by the hour, our continuous monitoring of interactive gaming issues ensures that our client stays up to date on important issues and ever-evolving state policies. We also advocate on behalf of our client with regulators, lawmakers, and other third parties in connection with the legality of skill-based gaming, from providing white papers regarding the model’s legality to drafting and commenting on proposed legislation.
  • Large Casino. Retained to provide legal support for the development of a large casino in Sacramento County, California, valued at $600 million. First, we worked with the tribe to develop its business relationships with the developer and management contractor. After negotiating a management contract and a development agreement amendment, we obtained approval of both documents from the National Indian Gaming Commission. Next, we developed gaming legal infrastructure in the form of a gaming ordinance and gaming regulations and proposed a potential change to the gaming compact with the state of California. Then, we negotiated a memorandum of agreement with the local government for the provision of fire and emergency medical services as well as loan documents to launch the critical work of financing.
  • Slot Machine Company. We represent an innovator of slot machines and gaming enterprise management systems for the global gaming market. We assist the client on a variety of matters including licensing, corporate, regulatory compliance, and labor and employment.
  • Native American Tribe. Served as counsel to a Native American tribe with respect to the $250 million renegotiation and extension of a casino management agreement and hotel management agreement with an international casino operator and management company. We advised the tribe on tax matters, employer control, and Indian gaming matters during the negotiation and finalization of the management agreements. We also assisted in negotiations with federal agencies in anticipation of their necessary approvals of the casino management agreement and ultimately helped win approval.


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