Karl Rutledge, Lewis Roca Photo

Karl F. Rutledge

Chair - Commercial Gaming Group, Partner
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Karl is known for his dedication and unmatched industry knowledge. His experience helps clients take full advantage of the opportunities in an evolving market.

Karl Rutledge is chair of the Commercial Gaming Group and a partner in the in the firm’s Las Vegas office. He focuses on land-based and Internet gaming as well as promotional marketing, with a particular emphasis on eSports, skill-based contests, sports betting, social gaming, sweepstakes, official rules, and terms and conditions.

Risk analysis and creative business structuring are keys to pursuing new offerings. Karl helps established and emerging companies operate legally in the U.S. under state and federal gaming and sweepstakes laws. Karl also serves as an ongoing advocate for his clients and their gaming interests. He often interfaces with gaming regulators, social media platforms, advertisers, and payment processors to present his clients’ positions as to why they constitute a lawful operation.

Karl is the immediate past chair of the Gaming Law Committee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section.

Karl is an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, where he teaches “Gaming Industry Regulation.”

Karl has been featured in Global Gaming Business Magazine as an emerging leader in the gaming industry, recognized in Best Lawyers in America and holds an "AV/Preeminent Attorney" rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Karl recently co-authored a chapter for the Nevada Gaming Law Practice and Procedure Manual published by the State Bar of Nevada, a first of its kind reference/research tool for gaming and non-gaming practitioners.

Practice Areas

Karl's wide variety of gaming/promotional experience includes:

  • eSports
  • Sports betting
  • Skill-based contests
  • Sweepstakes
  • Bonding and registration of sweepstakes
  • Social gaming
  • Risk assessment
  • Official rules
  • Compliance plans
  • Privacy policies
  • Loyalty/rewards programs
  • End-user license agreements (EULA)
  • Terms and conditions of use
  • Drafting federal and state gaming legislation
  • Various other issues relating to gaming, promotional marketing, and brand development

Personal Approach

Karl's perspective is enhanced by his years of experience in successfully guiding clients through gaming industry regulations. He is an advocate and a proactive collaborator focused on advancing his clients' goals under state and federal policies. Karl is known for his unmatched knowledge of the industry and his ability to assess risks quickly and anticipate and avoid costly matters. Clients recognize Karl's willingness to ask the tough questions while they're ahead and value his ability to adjust to their needs while meeting and surpassing all restrictions.

Karl has always been passionate about entertainment, and his prior work was no different. Before becoming a lawyer, Karl worked as a rodeo clown and bullfighter and now, during his free time, raises bucking bulls and commercial cattle on his family’s ranch in Montana.

More About Karl F. Rutledge

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, 2006
  • B.A., Montana State University, 2002

Bar Admissions

  • Montana, 2020
  • Nevada, 2006

Community

  • Executive Committee of the Gaming Law Section of the Nevada State Bar, Member

  • UNLV Boyd School of Law, Gaming Law Advisory Board Member
  • Clark County Bar Association, Member
  • Young Gaming Lawyer in Nevada of the International Masters of Gaming Law IMGL, Affiliated Member
  • American Bar Associations Business Law Section, Member
  • American Bar Associations Gaming Law Committee, Former Director
  • Nevada State Bar, Gaming Law Section, Executive Committee Member

Honors & Recognitions

  • Mountain States Super Lawyers, Gaming, 2010-2012, 2014-2016 (Rising Star), 2019-2021 (Super Lawyer)
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year, Woodward/White, Aiken, S.C., Gaming Law, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Aiken, S.C., Gaming Law, 2012-2021
  • Chambers USA, 2019, 2021 Gaming and Licensing - Nationwide, 2020 Gaming and Licensing and Up and Coming
  • Vegas Inc., Top Lawyers, 2020-2021
  • Global Gaming Magazine, Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40, 2019-2020 Class
  • Las Vegas Sun - Vegas Inc.'s "40 Under 40," 2019
  • Nevada Business Magazine, Legal Elite 2011 "Top 100 Attorneys in Southern Nevada", 2014 "Top 20 Up and Coming Attorneys in Nevada", Gaming, Internet Gaming and Contests & Sweepstakes, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell, "AV/Preeminent Attorney" rating
  • Karl Rutledge Named a Top Lawyer 2020 by Vegas, Inc.
    10/8/2020
  • Karl Rutledge Named to Emerging Leaders of Gaming 40 Under 40, Class of 2019-2020
    Global Gaming Magazine, 10/9/2019
  • Karl Rutledge Named 40 Under 40 by Vegas, Inc. 
    03/1/2019

News

Publications

Blog Posts

Events

  • Panelist, "Legal Regulations of eSports Wagering," Casino eSports Virtual Conference 2020, September 29, 2020
  • Panelist, "Sweepstakes, Contests and Giveaways: How Business Lawyers Can Avoid Traps, Pitfalls, and Giving Bad Advice," American Bar Association - Business Law Section 2020 Annual Meeting, Webinar, September 23, 2020
  • Speaker, "Sports and Online Betting," ACC Nevada November 2019 CLE Luncheon, November 2019
  • Panelist, "Online Gaming and Sports Betting in the United States: A Moving Target," 2019 ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 12, 2019
  • Panelist, "Envisioning eSports as a Part of a U.S. Sportsbook," Casino eSports Conference, September 5, 2019
  • Moderator, "The Proliferation of Sports Betting in the US - What Are the Issues and Effects?" ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting 2019, March 2019
  • Adjunct Professor, "Gaming Industry Regulation Course," William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, UNLV, Fall Semester 2017-2019
  • Presenter, "Sports Wagering - Issues and Widespread Effects of Christie Decision," ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 2018
  • Presenter, "Your Client’s Online Activities and the Law: A Case Study of Typical Cyber Law, Intellectual Property and Promotional Gaming Violations Facing Companies Today," ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 2017
  • Panelist, "Regulatory Markets: eSports, Daily Fantasy Sports, Virtual Games as Regulated Gaming," IMGL Spring Conference/ABA Law Minefield, March 2018
  • Presenter, "State vs. Federal Issues: Part II," UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, October 26, 2016
  • Presenter, "State vs. Federal Issues," UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, October 24, 2016
  • Speaker, "Legal pitfalls associated with Online Sweepstakes and Contests", ACC Nevada, September 2016
  • Panelist, "Online Activities - Your Clients Cause Perilous Pitfalls without Suitable Guidance", ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 2016
  • Presenter, "State vs. Federal Issues," UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, October 12th and 14th, 2015
  • Panelist,  "Why Your Corporate Clients’ Mundane Online Presence May Trigger Several Not So Mundane Consequences," ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 2015
  • Speaker, "Potential Legal Pitfalls Associated With Online Sweepstakes & Contests," American Marketing Association Las Vegas Chapter Luncheon, August 2015.
  • Speaker, "Social Gaming and Virtual Currency, Their Growth, Status and Potential," ABA Business Law Section’s Spring Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, "The Morphing of Social Gaming, Fantasy Sports and Sweepstakes into Gaming" Gaming Law Minefield 2015, February 2015
  • Speaker, "Online Gaming in the U.S.," Casino Industry Regulation Course, UNLV, November 2014
  • Speaker, "Legal Aspects of Gaming," Casino Industry Regulation Course for the Macao Polytechnic Institute, June 2013
  • Speaker, "Casino Industry Regulation Course," UNLV College of Hotel Administration, October 2012
  • Speaker, "Casino Law: The Interaction Between Social Media and Gaming, "New Jersey State Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting, October 13, 2012
  • Moderator, "State of the Union: CEO Panel," eGaming Review North America Power Summit, September 2012
  • Co-panelist, "Tournaments, Contests and Promotions," Gaming Law Conference, November 2011
  • Panelist, "Why The Internet Will Change Everything," CasinoFest 9, May 2011
  • Panelist, "This Isn't Your Grandfather's Gambling," ABA Young Lawyers Division, Spring Conference, May 2011
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