Gaming

  • Holland & Knight's Gaming Practice has a broad and deep understanding of federal and state laws regulating this thriving industry.
  • Our clients include casinos, online sports books, mobile gaming companies, daily fantasy sports operators and major charitable organizations that use games and contests for fundraising, as well as gaming vendors that design software and other technology that is essential to the industry.
  • Our lawyers have handled constitutional ballot measures, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), litigation, bankruptcy, intellectual property, privacy compliance, data protection and cybersecurity, technology licensing, public and private financing, and many other types of matters for the gaming industry.
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Overview

Companies often seek guidance from Holland & Knight's Gaming Practice before making a move in an industry that is booming online and in live venues around the world.

Our attorneys have a deep understanding of all aspects of the gaming industry and the federal and state laws that regulate it. We are familiar with gaming governed by tribal and nontribal entities and have experience in U.S. and international gaming transactions. We also understand the culture of traditional gaming systems and how they integrate new players.

Our clients include casinos, online sports books, mobile gaming companies, daily fantasy sports operators and major charitable organizations that use games for fundraising, as well as gaming vendors that design software and other technology that is essential to the industry.

We have represented a Native American tribe and related entertainment operation in disputes related to a casino gaming amendment to a state constitution, various mobile sports books, a major casino entertainment company going through bankruptcy, a startup interactive daily fantasy sports operator and one of the nation's largest fraternal benefit societies, which we advise on state charitable gaming and raffle laws.

Our lawyers have advocated for gaming plaintiffs and defendants in all types of disputes and regulatory challenges. We are also experienced in representing defendants facing criminal allegations or government investigations involving a variety of gaming issues, such as anti-money laundering laws.

Some of our attorneys' most effective work occurs prior to the launch of a gaming venture. Our pre-launch counsel has included:

  • analyzing state-by-state consumer protection laws regarding how gaming can be advertised
  • protecting the intellectual property behind companies' gaming technology
  • advising on the use of name/image/likeness (NIL) in gaming and daily fantasy sports
  • counseling on privacy compliance, data protection and cybersecurity
  • preparing for privacy and data breaches
  • facilitating traditional finance or digital currency transactions

Our Gaming Experience

  • Tribal compacts with states: Our lawyers successfully represented a state political action committee (PAC) supported by a major tribe and entertainment company in multi-pronged litigation and a political campaign in regards to a casino gaming amendment to Florida's constitution.
  • Daily fantasy sports startup: Holland & Knight's multi-disciplinary team has provided counsel in all stages of the company's development, including assistance with terms of use and privacy policy, seed round fundraising and Series A offering documents, corporate formation, regulatory concerns, NIL issues for website content, data privacy, security, advertising, consumer protection, trademarks, corporate sponsorships and banking regulations.
  • Online sports betting: Matters included drafting applicable terms and conditions, assisting with development agreements, licensing, advertising, sports teams' collaborations and sponsorships, data privacy and cybersecurity matters, and advising a mobile gaming sportsbook on renewal of a sponsorship deal with a professional sports league; we also advised a mobile gaming sportsbook on various agreements, including sponsorship deals, licensing, market access and incubator programs.
  • E-games/phone apps: Negotiated agreements related to game development, drafting applicable terms and conditions (including compliance with app store obligations), licensing, in-app advertising; digital currency within the game; also advised on data privacy and cybersecurity matters.
  • Charitable gaming: Serving as counsel to one of the nation's largest fraternal benefit societies on state law requirements for local chapters to obtain licenses for gaming, bingo, games of chance and poker.
  • Bankruptcy: Represented Tropicana Entertainment LLC, one of the largest privately owned casino operations in the U.S. Tropicana and its affiliates, now emerged from Chapter 11, operate nine casinos in five states with approximately 435,000 square feet of gaming space, nearly 6,000 hotel rooms and more than 7,300 employees.
  • Tribal casino financing: Assisting the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians and its River Rock Casino to restructure $227 million of debt; representing other tribes and investment banks in securities offerings to finance the development of entertainment and casino facilities and in tax-exempt debt, including Tribal Economic Development Bonds.
  • Tribal gaming regulation and litigation: Representing a tribe in federal litigation over whether the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) properly approved a tribal casino; defending client during federal audits of Native American tribal governments and gaming facilities.
  • International gaming deals: Represented lenders in a $1.2 billion nonrecourse financing of the acquisition by a Dubai World subsidiary of a block of shares of gaming and hotel operator MGM Resorts International; assisted with offering of payment-in-kind (PIK) toggle notes by a multinational company in the gaming and leisure sector in Spain and in Latin America, valued at 400 million euros; assisted with offering of bonds by a multinational company in the gaming and leisure sector in Spain and in Latin America under Rule 144A/Regulation S with two tranches, one for 490 million euros and another for 390 million euros, as well as with another bond offering by the company under Rule 144A/Regulation S for 663 million euros; represented a major themed international restaurant, gaming, entertainment and hotel chain in an ICC commercial arbitration dispute against the master franchisee in Mexico.
  • Mergers and acquisitions: Advised a privately held hospitality and gaming company in its sale to a private equity-backed strategic buyer; advised a publicly traded hospitality and gaming company in connection with various acquisitions and divestitures; represented Pine Tree Equity III LP in its investment in House Advantage, a provider of loyalty management software solutions for the casino and gaming industry; conducted M&A due diligence for acquisition of an e-gaming company.
  • Intellectual property: Representing a leading international manufacturer of toys and games and trademark licensor in connection with a widely publicized trademark, copyright and character licensing transaction with an online social gaming service provider; represented a hybrid physical and online gaming company against its rival in a heated patent infringement lawsuit, culminating with full district court and Federal Circuit wins.
  • Technology: Representing a major U.S. casino in connection with its development of a new gaming facility. The representation includes negotiating a significant volume of technology-related agreements necessary to support all operations associated with the new casino, including back-end IT infrastructure, payment processing, telecommunications and customer-facing solutions. Given the significant volume of agreements, the representation also includes partnering with the client to develop an intake review process to help prioritize agreements to better ensure that the client is maximizing its legal spend.