There are few major gaming deals that transpire without the support of the internationally recognized gaming law group at Brownstein. We represent businesses and individuals who are seeking gaming licenses, liquor licenses and related approvals from federal, state and local agencies throughout the United States. With a team of attorneys whose backgrounds include everything from gaming regulatory agency service to former in-house counsel, we bring significant experience working with gaming regulators in most major U.S. jurisdictions.

Our gaming attorneys provide strategic guidance to our clients in structuring their major transactions to meet their operational and compliance goals and we assist in obtaining necessary approvals for public offerings, financings, business restructurings, and mergers and acquisitions.  We regularly and efficiently manage all gaming issues related to the acquisition and development of hotels, resorts, racinos and casinos.

Leading the charge in the ever-expanding online gaming and sports betting markets, our attorneys completed many of the first online and sports betting transactions in New Jersey, helping to establish the framework of market access agreements that are now being implemented across the U.S.  We are uniquely positioned to advise U.S. and foreign entities on the U.S. requirements to becoming licensed and operational. We counsel clients on transaction structures, technology platforms and regulatory environments associated with these emerging markets. We have strong working relationships with key gaming regulators allowing us to swiftly and efficiently solve regulatory issues for our clients in the biggest gaming markets in the country.

Brownstein’s Gaming practice encompasses a broad range of services, including legal, legislative and administrative matters relating to:

  • Gaming licensing
  • Sports betting
  • Online and mobile gaming
  • Sweepstakes and promotions
  • Indian (tribal) gaming
  • Liquor licensing
  • Corporate transactions
  • Legislative counsel and lobbying
  • Regulatory and compliance
  • Gaming company/REIT conversions
  • Emerging jurisdiction advice
  • Payment processing
  • Employment
  • Intellectual property
  • Real estate – local permitting and zoning

William J. Downey 609.916.5745
Frank A. Schreck 702.382.2101

Chambers USA, 2020
National: Gaming & Licensing
What the team is known for: Reputable firm providing counsel and representation to a diverse range of gaming clients throughout the USA. Group of attorneys offering a wealth of industry-specific experience as well as noteworthy expertise in sophisticated licensing matters in large multijurisdictional transactions. Possesses a client list that includes major casinos, gaming companies, resorts and alternative capital providers.

Strengths: Sources commend "their ability and willingness to be proactive as advisers and to manage ongoing compliance needs."

Sources praise the firm's "very good reputation in the gaming law world," further commending the firm as "fundamentally sound and reliable." 

Nevada: Gaming & Licensing
What the team is known for: Leading firm with notable expertise in land-based gaming matters including complex M&A and financing transactions, which it regularly handles for several of Nevada's gaming giants. Fields a deep bench of attorneys with a wealth of experience in regulatory and licensing work throughout the USA, as well as related private equity issues. Also provides significant expertise in facilitating negotiations with parties involved in tribal gaming matters. Offers an additional element in its impressive international capabilities.

Strengths: A client says: "The entire team was always willing to assist in any way possible. All of our expectations were either met or exceeded." 
Sources say the team is "always available and incredibly effective and a pleasure to work with."

    Representative Matters
    • Counsel to Caesars Entertainment, Inc., in connection with the sale of Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino for $41.5 Million to an affiliate of CAI Investments.

    • Intellectual property counsel to Red Rock Resorts and its subsidiary, Station Casinos, in numerous complex transactions, including the acquisition of the Palms Resort & Casino, credit facilities and notes offerings, and an internal reorganization.

    • Our national gaming team represented Ocean Walk and its principals in the acquisition, financing and development of the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City. The property, formerly known as Revel Casino Hotel, consists of a hotel & casino with circa 1,400 rooms situated on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Our team also assisted in obtaining the required licensure arrangements for the facility in readiness for its opening in summer 2018. This matter confirms how our team has the ability to provide the full range of sector-specialist corporate/M&A; financing; development; licensing and regulatory services required on such major mandates.

    • Counsel to Boyd Gaming Corporation in a strategic partnership with FanDuel Group to run online and mobile sports betting operations in the U.S.

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

    • Assisted James Frey and Third Floor Fun, LLC to navigate the complex sweepstakes, contests, and promotional pieces throughout “Endgame: The Calling,” which is a story and global contest. Representation consisted of drafting rules of play for the contest and coordinating with local counsel in key international publications to ensure that the promotion was consistent with applicable law.

    • Counsel to MGM in the sale of Circus Circus Reno’s assets and MGM’s 50% equity interest in Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno, as well as the sales of the Gold Strike Hotel & Casino and the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino.

    • On July 20, 2015, Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. ("GLPI''), a Pennsylvania corporation which is a real estate investment trust (a "REIT") announced that the real estate assets associated with Pinnacle's casino hotel properties would be acquired by GLPI through a merger and stock acquisition. The real estate will be leased back to Pinnacle, which currently owns and operates 15 gaming properties in eight states. GLPI is a self-administered and self-managed Pennsylvania REIT. GLPI owns substantially all of the assets associated with the real property interests related to Penn National Gaming's operations. Our Gaming Group is representing Pinnacle Entertainment in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals in Nevada for this transaction to close.

    • Brownstein advised Penn National Gaming, Inc. in its acquisition of the Tropicana Las Vegas property on the Las Vegas Strip from Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Inc. Brownstein assisted Penn National in obtaining the required approvals from the Nevada Gaming Commission related to the acquisition and the financing of the transaction. The Nevada Gaming Commission approvals were the final step in the regulatory process related to the acquisition and followed earlier approvals in other jurisdictions where Penn National operates.

    • 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.

    • Represented a gaming company in connection with the purchase of a grandfathered casino in Southern Nevada.

    • Represented Riviera Holdings Corporation in its sale of the real estate assets associated with the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

    • In August 2014, Scientific Games Corporation and Bally Technologies, Inc. entered into a merger agreement under which Scientific Games would acquire Bally Technologies. Scientific Games acquired Bally's equity for $3.3 billion and assumed Bally's $1.8 billion of debt. Brownstein assisted Scientific Games in coordinating the regulatory approvals (both state and tribal) required across the United States for this transaction to close less than four months after it was announced.

    • Obtained the final regulatory approvals for Scientific Games Corporation to purchase Bally Technologies Inc.

    • Obtained the final regulatory approvals for Aristocrat Leisure Limited to purchase Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.

    • Counsel to Columbia Properties Laughlin and CP Laughlin Realty, LLC in connection with the sale of the real property and substantially all of the assets associated with the River Palms Resort Casino and a short-term leaseback of such real property and assets. Nevada Restaurant Services, Inc. and Laughlin Hotel, LLC purchased the River Palms Resort Casino for a purchase price of $6,750,000.

    • 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.

    • Served as counsel to several gaming companies in connection with acquisitions of hotel casinos located in Southern Nevada.

    • Counsel to William Hill plc, the UK's leading book maker, in its acquisition of 100 per cent of the equity of American Wagering (dba Leroy's) and Brandywine Bookmaking (dba Lucky's), and the race book and sports pool assets and inter-casino linked system of Sierra Development Company (dba Club Cal Neva). Our gaming and corporate/M&A teams represented William Hill in these acquisitions and continue to represent the company in obtaining all necessary licenses and regulatory approvals; . Brownstein represents both William Hill and William Hill Online in their U.S. operations.

    • Gaming and regulatory counsel to SHFL Entertainment in its proposed acquisition by and merger with Bally Technologies, Inc. Our gaming group has advised SHFL Entertainment in applicable licensing criteria and assisted in obtaining regulatory approvals for its merger with Bally Technologies in 61 countries and over 70 state and tribal regulatory jurisdictions in the US.

    • Representing the third largest gaming company in the US, Penn National, on gaming licensure and regulatory matters for Penn National to develop and manage a casino for the Jamul Indian Tribe near San Diego, California. We also obtained all necessary Nevada regulatory approvals for Penn National to separate a portion of its 28 casinos and race track operations into a real estate investment trust.

    • Counsel to Resorts Entertainment in the negotiations of an operation and management agreement with Mohegan Gaming Advisors for the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    • Served as Nevada corporate and gaming counsel to Aristocrat Leisure Limited and its Nevada subsidiaries, including Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., as borrowers and/or as guarantors, under a new multicurrency credit facility and group guarantee.

    • Nevada corporate and gaming counsel to Assisted Landry's, Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries as Nevada corporate and gaming counsel, and issued in the issuance ofopinions to the agents and lenders, in connection with a new $1.2 billion term and revolving loan facility. Brownstein also assisted with the issue and sale of $425 million of Landry's 9.375% Senior Notes due 2020.

    • Served as special counsel and issued local Nevada counsel opinion letter and Exhibit 5 opinion in connection with offer and sale of $325,000,000 principal amount of 7.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2022.

    • Counsel to Tropicana in B2B and market access agreement with Gamesys Group for offering of online casino products in New Jersey.

    • Counsel to digital entertainment plc, a publicly-traded online gaming company, in its joint ventures with Boyd Gaming Corporation and MGM Resorts International to offer online poker to U.S.-based players upon the passage of enabling legislation.

    • Served as Nevada gaming, corporate, real estate and intellectual property counsel in connection with Station Casinos, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries' emergence from bankruptcy. Our representation included gaming, real estate, intellectual property and the restructuring, including both asset and equity transfers and new organizational documents with the new owners, and new or amended credit facilities.

    • Represented AMG Entertainment, LLC in their merger with and financing related to a significant night club, restaurant and entertainment company with primary operations in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    • Represent Tropicana Entertainment Inc. in all Nevada gaming licensure and regulatory matters. Brownstein handles amendments to Tropicana's order of registration and the preparing and filing of gaming license applications, as well as assists gaming compliance personnel with ongoing regulatory issues.

    • Counsel to an international asset management firm in obtaining regulatory approval in 38 states for the company to beneficially hold shares in 10 publicly-traded gaming companies. These approvals, which included applications for certification as an institutional investor in casinos, gaming manufacturers, gaming distributors and gaming suppliers, enabled the company and its affiliates and subsidiaries to passively invest in publicly-traded gaming companies.

    • Counsel to Global Cash Access in its acquisition of Western Money Systems, a manufacturer and distributor of redemption kiosk devices to more than 200 casinos nationwide. We handled the corporate due diligence materials, drafted and negotiated the stock purchase agreement and also handled the gaming and licensing process in more than 20 states and 60 Native American tribal nations.

    • Served as local counsel to Landry's Restaurants, Inc. in connection with Golden Nugget, Inc.'s amendments to its 1st and 2nd lien credit agreements, including certain covenants and restrictions. The Firm issued corporate and gaming opinions to the administrative agent for the lender, as to Golden Nugget, Inc. and its Nevada subsidiaries.

    • Represented Tropicana Atlantic City Corp. in its online services agreement with Gamesys Limited.

    • Counsel to Hard Rock Hotel Holdings in the licensing of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, an Indian casino owned by the Cherokee Nation, and the Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque, an Indian casino owned by the Pueblo of Isleta.

    • Served as Nevada counsel to Ruffin Acquisition, LLC in connection with its $775 million acquisition of Treasure Island, LLC, owner of the Treasure Island Resort on the Las Vegas strip.

    • Served as local Nevada counsel in Apollo and Texas Pacific Group's acquisition of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. including the $32 billion multiple levels of financing - CMBS, revolver, bridge, gaming equipment and mezzanine loans - and issued opinions.

    • Served as Nevada counsel with respect to Station Casinos, Inc.'s $8 billion going private transaction, including the various related layers of financing: CMBS financing, revolver financing and mezzanine financings.

    Meet The Team

    David R. Arrajj Shareholder T 702.464.7053
    Pacifico S. Agnellini Shareholder T 609.241.0188
    Frank A. Schreck Shareholder T 702.382.2101
    Paul M. O’Gara Shareholder T 609.241.0174
    Erin Elliott Associate T 702.464.7016
    Ellen Schulhofer Shareholder T 702.464.7059
    William J. Downey Shareholder T 609.916.5745
    Kristina R. Kleist Policy Advisor and Associate T 702.464.7007
    Daniel S. Ojserkis Of Counsel T 609.916.5748
    Sarah M. Mercer Shareholder T 303.223.1139
    Hal Stratton Shareholder T 505.724.9596
    Mark R. Starr Associate T 702.464.7093
    Scott Scherer Shareholder T 775.398.3804
    Melissa L. Thevenot Associate T 609.916.5749
    Neal Tomlinson Shareholder T 702.464.7043
    Sonia Church Vermeys Shareholder T 702.464.7066
    Elizabeth K. Houseworth Paralegal/Office Coordinator T 609.916.5747.