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The gaming industry continues to expand and evolve into exciting new disciplines as the industry navigates a post-pandemic world. With traveling increasing and customers returning to casinos, new technology to enhance user experiences along with advanced health and safety practices are being implemented. Additionally, online gaming is evolving, and more states have become receptive to sports betting. Casinos and casino developers, online providers, gaming-device and associated equipment manufacturers, and related organizations encounter a variety of legal and regulatory issues unique to their operations and activities. With so much at stake, they need a law firm that has a dedicated and experienced team that is ready to provide a full spectrum of legal solutions.

As a full-service law firm with offices located across the United States and in Canada, including popular tourist and established gaming areas like Las Vegas, Reno, Nashville,  Austin, as well as  Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Ontario, Dickinson Wright represents clients in all facets of the gaming industry.

Whether licensing applications for domestic and international device manufacturers and developers, drawing up esports wagering regulations, or consulting in anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, disciplinary matters, and legislative advocacy, Dickinson Wright can help you reach your ideal outcomes.

Our Clients

Our Gaming team represents clients across the spectrum of this diverse industry, including:


  • Casino, resort,  hotel, and condominium owners and developers          

  • Betting software companies

  • Vacation-ownership property and mixed-use developments

  • Video game, arcade, slot machine designers and distributors

  • Taverns, restaurants, and nightclubs

  • Race pool and sportsbook operators

  •  Entertainment companies
  • Esports, online gaming, and fantasy sports companies

  • Developers, owners, and financiers

  • Alcohol wholesalers, distributors, and retailers

  • Gaming device and associated equipment manufacturers

  • Sweepstakes, contests, and other promotion providers

Our Team

Clients benefit from the combined experience of our talented gaming and hospitality team, which includes transactional lawyers, litigators, compliance committee advisors, lobbyists, engineers, and specialists in gaming and technology, with decades of experience in the gaming and hospitality industry. Additionally, Dickinson Wright is ranked in Chambers USA® as a leading law firm in numerous practice areas, including “Gaming Law,” which reflects the legal talent of our team. We are also regularly listed in the top bands for Gaming & Licensing in Chambers Canada® and Chambers Global®.

Our attorneys have drafted and passed key gaming law legislation on behalf of gaming industry clients, including legislation streamlining the testing of gaming equipment and expanding the footprint of gaming enterprise districts that allow for casino resort development in the City of Las Vegas.

Members of the team wrote the definitive book on Gaming Law in the United States, having authored the 2016 – 2020 editions of the LexisNexis publication Gaming Law and Practice. They have also recently authored the introductory chapter covering “regulated gambling in the United States for The Law of Regulated Gaming: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers (American Bar Association), as well as the chapter on gambling in Nevada for the International Comparative Legal Guide: Gambling 2019, the global legal guide on common issues in gambling laws and regulations in 34 jurisdictions. And we keep clients up to date on key developments in the gaming and hospitality industry with regular updates via our Gaming Legal Newsletter.

Our Services

Esports and Social Gaming: Competitive video gaming has grown from niche events into a global multi-billion-dollar esports industry, with the pandemic accelerating development. Dickinson Wright’s gaming attorneys provide legal assistance to industry participants, helping to minimize legal risks and address novel legal questions as esports continue to expand both domestically and abroad. Our lawyers have experience in providing a 50-state review and analysis of esports and social gaming offerings. Depending on the jurisdiction, contests and other promotions — which may at first appear to be non-gaming — could contain wagering elements that violate state or federal laws. We can advise on the risks, help you understand the regulations, and provide guidance in this evolving area of gaming law.

Sports and Entertainment: Our gaming law team provides a broad range of services for those involved in the creation, production, and performance, and management of immersive experiences. We represent an international clientele of artists, celebrities, athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs. Our gaming law practice spans the full sports and entertainment spectrum.

Land Use &  Economic DevelopmentLas Vegas attracts diverse businesses, tourists, and groups from around the world that want to be part of this premier destination. Of course, the legal issues involved in developing commercial, residential, and industrial properties provide their own challenges. We have advised clients on an array of projects, such as the construction and operation of a state-of-the-art golf facility and the financing and development of luxury hotels and resorts. No matter the scale, Dickinson Wright’s team can help individuals and businesses make their mark in the United States’ most exciting gambling venues.

Licensing and Regulatory Compliance: Our gaming clients rely on us to advocate and collaborate on their behalf with state and federal agencies. We provide gaming law counsel to many of the world’s premier companies regarding anti-money laundering (AML), gaming devices, testing and metering systems, wagering systems, liquor licenses, and other industry-specific rules.

Our lawyers have represented gaming industry participants and prominent international banks in financing new and renovated casinos and resort hotel properties. We represent parties on “all sides of the table” — buyers, sellers, equity investors, mezzanine investors, borrowers, and lenders — providing exceptional knowledge and acumen to help our clients meet their goals.

Government Affairs: Our government affairs team members have built strong relationships with and are trusted representatives for clients in gaming jurisdictions, including the gaming mecca of Las Vegas.  Our attorneys have played a vital role in updating and amending gaming statutes and regulations to allow industry growth and innovation. We also regularly represent gaming industry clients before state and local boards and commissions.

International Gaming Law: Dickinson Wright works with an international network to facilitate and assist clients in establishing foreign gaming operations in regulated jurisdictions. Our team has been an integral part of working with emerging gaming jurisdictions, including drafting gaming laws and regulations for use by new jurisdictions.

Litigation: When disagreements between players in the gaming industry cannot be resolved amicably, litigation becomes a reality. Our team of accomplished and skilled litigators has proven to be the best in their fields. From simple disputes to complex multidistrict, multi-party cases, our lawyers strive for the best and most strategic outcome, always with the client’s resources in mind.

Additionally, our gaming lawyers work closely with other practice areas within the firm to ensure that we address and mitigate every potential point of concern that may emerge, including:


  • Licensing & Regulatory Compliance


Representative Matters

Licensing and Regulatory Compliance

–Assisted with a 50 state survey of gaming/amusement laws pertaining to the release of a new online game. This involved analyzing each state’s laws, regulations, and court opinions applicable to gaming and amusement and how they might apply to the specific online product being developed by the company. Where the subject matter was not directly discussed, interpretations had to be made regarding the state’s enforcement policy and history to classify their laws according to the “degree of risk” in proceeding with the project for that particular geographic area.

–Dickinson Wright provides ongoing gaming legal advice to an investment and real estate development company on Nevada Gaming regulatory issues, including regular participation as legal advisor to the client’s compliance committee, a requirement for its gaming licenses and approvals. The work includes advising them on the applicability of laws and regulations and providing commentary and detail to Gaming Control Board Agents in connection with the submission of quarterly compliance reports.

–Assisted commercial casino developers by obtaining gaming licenses, gaining approval of state constitutional amendments and gaming legislation, and providing counsel supporting the financing, construction, and operation of casinos.

–Negotiated tribal/state gaming compacts and tribal/municipality casino development agreements, and represented tribal interests nationwide and guided developers and vendors in the intricacies of tribal sovereign nation contracting.

–Counsel to a prominent resort and casino in obtaining casino licensure in Detroit, Michigan and regarding various regulatory and gaming matters.

–Drafted legislative amendments and counseled clients regarding amendments to gaming legislation enacted by the government of Ontario.

Land Use & Economic Development

–Representing the development partners with the financing and development of a luxury-branded, mixed-use development in downtown Nashville. The establishment will be approximately 1,231,420 square feet, comprised of a 46-story hotel and condominium residences tower and a 32-story multifamily residential tower, and will include approximately 240 luxury-branded hotel rooms and suites, as well as luxury-branded and serviced multifamily rental units, a banquet and meeting space, a world-class spa, supporting retail, a parking garage, and two roof-top restaurants. This is a complex project, and our representation spans multiple disciplines, including real estate, real estate finance, tax, estate planning, land use, entitlements, and construction services.

–Representing the development partner with the financing and development of a luxury-branded, mixed-use development in downtown Austin, Texas. Overseeing the real estate acquisition and equity financing capital raises for the project, and leading on all other aspects. The establishment will be comprised of a single 64-story tower, 800 feet in height, and approximately 250 luxury-branded rooms and suites, luxury-branded and serviced condominiums, 170 luxury-branded multifamily full-service rental units, 30,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, a 6,000 square foot spa, 10,000 square feet of supporting retail, a parking garage with approximately 550 parking spaces, multiple dining options, and a signature roof-top restaurant, with a total gross square footage of approximately 1,105,701 square feet.

–Represented the developer in the structuring of an over $1 billion ground-up development of a new casino, entertainment, spa, garage, and hotel facility, consisting of around $650 million in equity contributions and approximately $550 million construction loan market offering with an additional revolving loan and interest rate swap components, which will be secured by multiple operational casinos and ancillary facilities. The work included attaining perfection of interest in gaming license holding entities and casino equipment, an EB-5 component, restructuring existing entities, and structuring new casino entities.

–Retained to provide gaming and related due diligence counsel for an international company providing mezzanine financing for an upcoming hotel and casino. Initially set to open by late 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and design delays have caused the opening to be pushed back to late 2022.

–Represented applicants before the Nevada State Contractor’s Board and appeared before the various planning and zoning boards which make regional infrastructure services evaluations and issue variances and use permits for high-impact projects and projects of regional significance.

–Represented a company backed by a Canadian billionaire in connection with the construction and operation of a state-of-the-art golf putting facility on the Las Vegas Strip.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Financing

–Served as special Nevada gaming counsel to a lender group to provide financing for the $4.25 billion acquisition of a resort and casino in Las Vegas. The deal is the largest in the history of Las Vegas casino financings with the acquiring group’s joint venture to acquire the resort’s real estate and lease it back to a global hospitality and entertainment company for an initial annual rent of $245 million.

–Served as special Nevada counsel to a billionaire acquiring a hotel and casino in Las Vegas from a global hospitality and entertainment company. The $825 million deal includes a five-acre amusement park, a 10-acre RV park, and 37-acre festival grounds. The property will be updated to feature a stadium-style gaming area, and its existing RV Park will be transformed into a sand-beach pool with a wave machine. With net revenues of $65.9 million in Q3 2019, the multi-use entertainment venue’s purchase is comprised of $662.5 million paid in cash and a $162.5 million note, due 2024.

–Served as gaming counsel to a leader in world-class, automated payment solutions in connection with the $180 million acquisition of a company that provides currency and coin counting equipment to financial institutions and casinos. The deal included navigating gaming regulatory issues to license the combined entity across more than 200 state, provincial, and tribal jurisdictions.

–Representing a hospitality solutions company as the buyer in two add-on acquisitions. The transaction will include a new round of financing and the refinancing of existing subordinated and senior debt.

Intellectual Property

–Served as Nevada gaming counsel to a popular Las Vegas hotel and casino in negotiating the intellectual property and other rights necessary to develop a themed gaming area that is approximately 15,000 square feet and includes 22 table games and 220 slot machines.

–External in-house IP counsel for an emerging online gaming company that recently went public and has completed over $250 million in acquisitions.


–Represented a client that owns a Mediterranean and sushi and wine restaurant, as well as the hospitality company that services the restaurant, in an unfair competition, conspiracy, non-compete violation, and breach of lease agreement case. The dispute is over a very high-profile nightclub and restaurant in Miami Beach, which is popular with celebrities, and arises from a conspiracy by the counterparties to steal the restaurant’s goodwill and business of high-end entertainment and restaurant services. The case involves IP issues and other breaches of lease issues related to a right of first refusal and the defendants’ attempts to masquerade and convince the City of Miami Beach preservation board that the applications for renovations were on behalf of the client when they were not.
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