Betting and Gaming

LEADERS

Overview

A Unique Offering

The Gibson Dunn global betting and gaming practice is one of the most preeminent betting and gaming legal practices worldwide, representing the most prestigious and influential clients in the industry across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

We believe that the Gibson Dunn global betting and gaming practice provides our clients with a unique offering – no other global law firm can offer an award-winning regulatory and compliance capability alongside a market-leading transactional practice in the betting and gaming sector in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.

No other global law firm has achieved so much in the betting and gaming sector, including acting as lead attorneys for the State of New Jersey in action before the US Supreme Court that resulted in the repeal of the federal limits on sports betting in the U.S.

Leveraging our thorough understanding of the sector, we handle our clients’ most important and complex corporate and real estate transactions, litigation and disputes work, regulatory and compliance matters and other legal challenges.  Gibson Dunn lawyers are able to provide tier-one representation in all major betting and gaming markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Asia Pacific Region.

Gambling Compliance named Gibson Dunn “Best Regulatory Lawyer or Law Firm of the Year” at its 2018 Gambling Compliance Global Regulatory Awards, which recognize “individuals and teams who have excelled in the field of regulatory compliance and responsible gambling initiatives.”

Betting & Gaming Operators – Gibson Dunn has represented the leading industry operators in online and retail betting and gaming throughout the world, advising on the most significant mergers and acquisitions in the sector and also representing clients in relation to commercial joint ventures, real estate acquisitions and leasehold arrangements, technology outsourcing arrangements, and labor and employment matters.  Gibson Dunn attorneys’ experience in the sector is unparalleled, providing clients with access to the latest in industry knowledge and strategic insight.

U.S. Sports Betting – Gibson Dunn served as the lead attorneys for the State of New Jersey in 2018 before the Supreme Court, securing the repeal of the federal limits on sports betting in the U.S.  Gibson Dunn attorneys have also represented clients on the most significant transactions undertaken since the repeal of PASPA, including mergers and acquisitions, commercial partnerships and joint ventures, and technology sourcing arrangements.

Regulatory & Compliance – Gibson Dunn’s betting and gaming regulatory practitioners have advised clients on multi-jurisdictional betting and gaming regulatory filings and risk assessments in connection with significant merger and acquisition transactions, and in connection with organic operational expansions, and have in-depth working knowledge of the betting and gaming regulatory regimes of over seventy countries around the world.  Gibson Dunn lawyers also have advised betting and gaming clients on a range of compliance issues relating to betting and gaming operations, including issues arising under the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and other anti-corruption laws, and under antitrust/competition, consumer protection, VAT and gaming tax, anti-money-laundering and data privacy laws.  The firm acts as special counsel to compliance committees, providing proactive advice and support.  We have also represented betting and gaming clients in connection with governmental and regulatory inquiries, investigations and litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

Casinos & Resorts – Gibson Dunn has represented investors, lenders and operators in acquiring, financing, selling and developing some of the largest casinos, hotels and resort communities throughout the world, including the United States and Macau.  Our litigation and labor attorneys have also represented numerous casino and resort clients in the sector in high-profile cases, including a significant success involving Indian casino gaming in New York.

Dispute Resolution – Gibson Dunn’s leading dispute resolution practice has represented clients in the betting and gaming sector on some of the most complex and industry-changing litigation and disputes in the sector, including representing industry bodies and associations in challenging regulation on constitutional and administrative grounds.

EXPERIENCE & RECENT REPRESENTATIONS

  • Caesars Entertainment. Representation of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company in its sale of a 45% stake in Baluma S.A., the Caesars subsidiary which owns and operates the Conrad Punta Del Este Resort and Casino in Uruguay, to Enjoy S.A., a casino resort operator in Chile.
  • Caesars Entertainment. Representation of Lazard Freres as financial advisor to the Special Committee of Caesars Acquisition Company in its $2.2 billion sale of Bally’s Las Vegas, The Cromwell, The Quad and Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesars Growth Partners.
  • Gala Coral Group Ltd. Representation of Gala Coral Group as antitrust counsel in connection with its £3.4 billion merger with Ladbrokes to create Ladbrokes Coral, a multi-channel, internationally diversified betting and gaming company, and in relation to the £200 million disposal of its Gala Bingo Operations to Caledonia Investments Limited.
  • International Game Technology. Representation of Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to International Game Technology in its $6.4 billion acquisition by GTECH, a commercial operator and provider of technology in the regulated worldwide gaming markets
  • Kindred plc. Representation of Kindred on its £175.6 million acquisition of 32Red plc, an online casino, poker and bingo operator, and in relation to the convertible bond issued to Kindred by Kambi plc, an online betting and gaming technology platform provider.
  • MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties. Representation in connection with the acquisition of the real property and operations associated with Empire City Casino’s race track and casino for $850 million; the $1.06 billion acquisition of the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park; and an exclusive joint venture with GVC Holdings for sports betting and online gaming in the United States.
  • Summit Ascent Holdings Limited and Melco International Development. Representation in respective investments in a gaming and resort development project in the Primorye region of Russia, near China’s border.
  • The Stars Group, Inc. Representation of Stars Group in relation to the $4.7 billion acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming from CVC Capital and Sky plc, and in relation to certain commercial insurance matters.
  • Topgolf International, Inc. Representation in the acquisition of World Golf Tour, a mobile gaming company, by Topgolf International, a private golf entertainment company.
  • William Hill plc. Representation of William Hill in numerous acquisitions and transactions including: its 2018 partnership with Eldorado Resorts for online and retail sports betting and online gaming in the United States; a £100 million investment in NYX Gaming Group Limited, a digital gaming supplier, as part of a consortium to acquire OpenBet, a developer of sports betting and gaming technology solutions, for £270 million; the acquisition of a 29.4% stake in Neo Games, an online lottery software and service provider; the proposed merger with Amaya, Inc.; the disposal of William Hill’s interests in NYX Gaming Group Limited to Scientific Games, Inc.; and its commercial investments, partnerships and joint ventures.
  • Counsel to the compliance committee for an international gaming entity providing ongoing advice on matters affecting a broad range of operations.
  • Represented a sports related entity in a multitude of investigations by DOJ, FCC, multi-state Attorney Generals in regulatory inquiries and litigation.
  • Update and provide annual anticorruption and anti-money-laundering training, to a multitude of gaming and online entities at multiple global locations.
  • Conducted internal investigations regarding BSA/AML issues for an entertainment company.
  • Monitored or worked with various Departments of Gaming in the United States for multiple companies
  • Represented a gaming entity in ongoing SEC and DOJ investigations.
  • Compliance and due diligence assistance for contracts and deals with foreign companies.
  • Representing a leading online gambling operator in an investigation by the UK Competition & Markets Authority into alleged breaches of consumer protection laws.
  • Representing a leading online gambling operator in its successful defense of contested administrative law proceedings before the High Court and Court of Appeal in London in connection with allegations that it was facilitating the avoidance of industry-specific levies and unregulated provision of gambling services by its customers.
  • Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association; New jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Secured significant U.S. Supreme Court Victory for the State of New Jersey and states’ rights when the court struck down federal limits on sports gambling.
  • Churchill Downs v. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Representation of Churchill Downs in filing and winning a stipulated judgment in a challenge to the constitutionality of certain Pennsylvania law provisions concerning online wagering on horse races, on behalf of Churchill Downs, Incorporated, host of the Kentucky Derby, and its online wagering subsidiary, TwinSpires.com, in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. As a result of the stipulated judgment, Churchill Downs was to receive a refund of approximately $2 million in prior tax payments, and save over $2 million per year, in perpetuity, in future tax liability – the company’s goals in initiating the suit.
  • Churchill Downs Texas Litig. Representation of Churchill Downs in a constitutional dispute with the Texas Racing Commission, which attempted to prevent Churchill Downs, a Kentucky-based operation, from accepting wagers on horse races, like the Kentucky Derby, from Texas residents through the Internet—even though Texas residents are allowed to place bets on the Kentucky Derby and other races nationwide simply by doing so at a local Texas track, rather than from an out-of-state business like Churchill Downs.
  • DraftKings Litigation. Serving as lead counsel for DraftKings, Inc. in dozens of high-profile putative class actions across the United States, primarily in cases in which FanDuel has also been named, related to employee play on other daily fantasy sports (DFS) web sites.
  • John P. Brincko, Chapter 11 Trustee of Debtor National Consumer Mortgage, LLC v. Rio Properties, Inc.Representation of Rio Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., in a multi-week jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.  The plaintiff, a bankruptcy trustee for a mortgage and investment company, had filed both state and federal claims seeking to void 66 alleged fraudulent transfers, totaling millions of dollars.  The jury unanimously upheld Rio’s good faith defense to the claims with respect to approximately 90 % of the alleged transfers.
  • Tang v. Wynn. Representation of Wynn Las Vegas in securing complete dismissal of a statewide wage and hour collective action involving a matter of first impression under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Also successfully represented amicus before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving the same issues.
  • Betfair Proceedings. Representing the world’s leading betting exchange, Betfair, in its successful defense of administrative law proceedings brought against it by the British Horseracing Authority and a competitor operator, seeking to impose a State levy relating to the horseracing industry, the Horserace Betting Levy Board on customers of Betfair and other betting exchanges. The Administrative Court held in Betfair’s favor, as did the Court of Appeal.  Exceptionally for an interested party, Betfair received significant awards of legal costs in its favor, and substantial recovery following detailed costs assessment.
  • UK Online Betting and Gaming Operator Investigation. Advising one of the UK’s leading online betting and gaming operators on its successful defense of an investigation commenced against it by the Competition & Markets Authority in connection with alleged violations of consumer protection laws related to online promotions and offers.  The case proceeded against multiple other operators, despite being dropped with respect to our client.
  • UK and EU Online Betting Operators Litigation. Advising a range of leading UK and EU online betting operators in successful defenses of civil and regulatory litigation brought against them in variously, the Spanish, German and Italian courts, with respect to alleged unlicensed offering of gambling services.
  • CityCenter. Representation of the operator of a huge casino-style resort in Las Vegas in $1.74 billion of offerings of senior secured first lien and second lien notes; a $500 million first lien credit facility; and a $75 million revolving credit facility. CityCenter is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Dubai World.
  • MGM Resorts International and MGM Growth Properties. Representation in connection with the acquisition of the real property and operations associated with Empire City Casino’s race track and casino for $850 million; and the $1.06 billion acquisition of the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.
  • Pinnacle Entertainment. Representation in connection with the $4.75 billion sale of real estate assets to Gaming and Leisure Properties, a real estate investment trust specializing in casino properties.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS