With commercial casinos in the United States hitting record revenue growth and billions generated in gaming taxes to state and local governments, commercial gaming operations continue to expand across more than 20 states. Inherent in the operations of these complex businesses and in ancillary companies, such as gaming equipment manufacturers, are a maze of laws, regulations and ordinances to navigate as well as innovations, such as online gambling and bitcoin casinos, to consider.
Saul Ewing attorneys advise casinos, gaming equipment vendors, wagering-technology companies and casino development companies in a variety of legal matters, including in the following areas:
- Licensing and regulations, including advising gaming entities on federal and state licensing and wagering regulations
- Compliance programs, including creating and administering compliance programs and training employees to manage them
- General corporate – commercial agreements, governance, partnerships and new ventures, such as initiatives involving cryptocurrencies
- Financing – debt and equity capital-raising transactions
- Mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and strategic alliances
- Investments – fund formation and investment opportunities for private equity funds, venture capital funds, wealth funds, strategic investors and family offices
- Tax – domestic and international tax planning and Internal Revenue Service inquiries and disputes
Real Estate, including the purchase and sale of land, financing, development, land use rights, zoning, leasing, and appeals
Construction, including the development of casinos
Labor and employment, including employment agreements, employee handbook/policy requirements, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration matters
Intellectual property, including matters related to patents, trademarks, licensing and merchandising
Investigations, including internal investigations to determine if there is any illegal or potentially suspicious activity conducted by rogue employees or customers, and also responses to government inquiries
Litigation, including criminal and civil litigation regarding various allegations related to anti-money laundering offenses, the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Department of Treasury regulations, Title 31 violations, state money-transmitter regulations, mail/wire fraud, bribery, false-advertising law, consumer-protection statutes, and unfair-competition statutes
Immigration, including employment-based visas
Bankruptcy and restructuring
Employee benefits and executive compensation
Cybersecurity and data privacy
For a selection of our gambling-related representations, click here.
- A motorsports promotor and track owner in the formation of a joint venture with a leading casino operator to build and operate a Kansas casino.
- A Pennsylvania casino in securing local gaming license regulatory approvals.
- A start-up company that makes electronic slot machines in the favorable settlement of intellectual property allegations that include infringing on dozens of its trademarks, copying its trade dress, and misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, which were made by another gaming company where some employees of the start-up company previously worked. The favorable settlement was reached days before trial.
- A real estate development and entertainment operating company in advising on land use and local permitting for the $400 million construction project of a hotel, casino and entertainment complex in Philadelphia.
- A wagering-technology company in assessing federal and state licensing regulations potentially applicable to an expansion of its operations, including what essential equipment and personnel must be located in the state targeted for expansion.
- A mobile-wagering company defending against litigation brought by customers claiming privacy and contractual violations when records of their activities were provided to licensing officials during a horse-doping investigation.
- A global financial-services company defending against federal criminal accusations that it engaged in numerous BSA/AML violations and facilitated the acceptance and payment of wagers illegally run through offshore entities or suspicious customers.
- A Thoroughbred racetrack in a license and operating agreement dispute
- A regional casino in advising on day-to-day legal matters, including vendor contract review, tax compliance, employment matters, employee benefit plans and entertainment agreements.
- Gaming Partners International Corporation (GPIC), a NASDAQ-listed company that manufactures and supplies casino table game equipment, in the successful negotiation and execution of a merger agreement to sell 100 percent of GPIC for $110 million in a going-private transaction to Angel Holdings Godo Kaisha, the parent company of a large Japanese gaming supplies manufacturing group.