Vermeys, Sonia Church

Recognized as a top Nevada lawyer, Sonia Church Vermeys helps clients navigate Nevada's complex regulatory requirements related to commercial development and liquor and gaming licensing. Her practice primarily focuses on commercial transactions with an emphasis on gaming, liquor, real estate and land use matters. She also advises clients on corporate restructuring and financings.

Sonia assists in business transactions by advising clients on purchase and sale agreements, particularly those with hospitality and licensing requirements, and can also assist on land use regulations for project development. Sonia's hands-on knowledge of the hospitality industry means she can help clients build a regulatory foundation that will guide them from acquisition through operation.

With intimate knowledge of new Nevada Gaming Control Board regulations concerning various aspects of the gaming industry, Sonia is well-positioned to help her clients set up and stay current on their compliance plans. She also represents individuals and businesses before regulatory agencies including the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada Gaming Commission, Clark County Commission, City of Henderson, City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas.


Practices & Industries

Major hospitality brands turn to Sonia for guidance on alcohol and gaming licensing requirements. She advises clients on all aspects of the license application process, from document submittals through the investigation and as counsel before the licensing body. She has extensive experience drafting license-specific language for purchase agreements, insight into adopting existing or "grandfathered" rights on acquired property, and hands-on knowledge of regulatory requirements for casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, bars and other regulated businesses. Sonia has worked closely with the Nevada Gaming Control Board on new regulation initiatives, most recently a set of rules for casino nightclubs, and a new licensing regime for private equity companies.

Development/Land Use

Sonia advises commercial clients on land use and property development, providing compliance counsel for general commercial as well as hospitality development clients. She can help clients avoid regulatory delays and conflicts with local agencies.

During the 2015 legislative session, Sonia drafted a state statute permitting the relocation of a state gaming license under specific circumstances. This statue became the basis for securing Clark County entitlements for a gaming project in Indian Springs, Nevada.


Acquisition/disposition - Commercial Transactions

Sonia negotiates and drafts purchase sale agreements and provides compliance insight on meeting regulatory conditions and timetables. Her extensive experience within the hospitality industry is an added value to Sonia's clients who want to serve liquor on or off-premises, manage grandfathered licensing and land use rights, navigate the extensive gaming regulations related to casinos and nightclubs, or analyze the cost-benefit related to securing a gaming license.  


Representative Matters
  • Brownstein is representing the leading US-based explainer video production company with strategic and legal analysis of gaming laws and counsel in connection with the selection of the most appropriate licensing structure for a gaming platform that uses a combination of random number generation and artificial intelligence techniques to determine outcomes. Our team has also assisted with negotiating and drafting the definitive agreements for the distribution of the virtual platform. Our work on this initiative demonstrates how we understand the challenges and opportunities our clients face with regard to new industry technologies, as well our ability to present innovative arguments to the Gaming Control Board on issues that fall outside of standard gaming regulatory practice.

  • Brownstein is acting for a leading US-based gaming services company which has developed skill-based gaming devices that some are calling the wave of the future in the gaming industry. Our national gaming team is assisting our client in an application for a manufacturer and distributor license for these devices. We are currently processing applications and are closely involved in developing the company’s strategy for the approval of its ground-breaking devices. Our team has over 40 years of experience in the gaming regulatory process for gaming devices, and our work demonstrates the significant benefits of this experience for new entrants to this market.

  • Our national gaming team is advising one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups on all aspects of gaming and regulatory requirements to ensure a successful gaming licensing experience. Our firm was retained in part because of our experience in successfully representing UK-listed gaming companies with regard to their operations in the US and globally, as well as our strength of reputation for assisting major gaming companies in navigating the gaming regulatory process.

  • Counsel to subsidiaries of Caesars Entertainment Corporation in connection with use permits, design reviews, temporary commercial permits and other land use entitlement applications for various development projects for their casino, restaurant and entertainment properties.

  • Represented Eastern Investments, LLC and its principals to secure their gaming licenses in connection with the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino.

  • Counsel to CEC Entertainment, Inc. to secure liquor and general business licenses for Peter Piper restaurants in the City of Las Vegas and Clark County.

  • Worked with Indian Springs Operating Company, LLC and their development team to prepare applications and supporting materials to secure land use entitlements for a mixed use commercial project consisting of a casino/tavern, gas station, convenience store, and restaurant with related amenities.

  • Represented DeSimone Gaming Inc. and its principal Joseph DeSimone in connection with nonrestricted gaming applications for licensure to operate the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino. Shepherded the applications through the investigations and appeared with the applicants before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission.

  • Secured state and local gaming and other business licenses and permits for LVGV, LLC dba The M Resort Spa and Casino, following a multi-jurisdictional REIT transaction involving its parent company, Penn National Gaming, Inc.

News & Events

Pro Bono Counsel, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada

Board of Directors, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada, 2009 - 2016

Former Board President, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada, 2012


Publications & Presentations
  • J.D., 1993, cum laude, University of San Diego School of Law
  • B.F.A., 1988, cum laude, University of Southern California
  • Nevada

Best Lawyers in America, 2009-2021

Vegas Inc Top Lawyers, Gaming, 2020

Chambers USA, America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2004-2009

AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating


American Bar Association

Clark County Bar Association

State Bar of Nevada

International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)

National Association of Licensing & Compliance Professionals (NALCP)