Our attorneys’ experience includes working with some of the largest international and national gaming companies. We advise clients on compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, i-gaming, fantasy gaming, sports betting, horse racing handicapping tournaments, account wagering, charitable gaming, promotions, raffles, sweepstakes, and state licensing applications and compliance among other related gaming issues. We also assist gaming clients with their unique labor and employment issues, intellectual property concerns, real estate transactions and corporate structure, corporate governance, and related matters.
We provide legal insight on emerging developments and the changing regulatory and legislative environment within the gaming industry as contributors to Gaming Law Review and Economics, Casino Enterprise Management and Casino Lawyer, and through presentations to legal thought leaders, including the ABA Gaming Law Minefield and other gaming conferences. We are members of the International Masters of Gaming Law, a world-wide network of gaming lawyers, and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Account Wagering, iGaming and Horse Racing Handicapping Tournaments
Our attorneys include the former general counsel to Gulfstream Park and associate general counsel to Magna Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ-MECA) (now The Stronach Group). Our experience includes state and federal regulatory compliance for pari-mutuel wagering, negotiation of national and international simulcast contracts, and state licensing of gaming companies, including ADW licensing in Oregon, North Dakota, and Kentucky. We draft rules and regulations for online fantasy handicapping tournaments. We are also a leading provider to clients of 50 state compliance reviews and legal opinions for payment processing for Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies and other legal online pari-mutuel wagering companies. We are involved in mergers and acquisitions and due diligence in this field. We provide counsel to international gaming companies on federal and state regulatory issues, legislative updates, and legal developments and trends in online gaming and sports betting.
With the development and widespread adoption of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), new forms of gaming rewards – play-to-earn (P2E) – have risen in number and popularity. P2E games give player the opportunity to take ownership of digital assets, which are minted as NFTs and recorded on a blockchain. This new form of gaming creates novel legal issues – where games may not have tread anywhere near gambling or gaming regulation before, real caution was now be taken not to tread on the wrong side of the line. Dinsmore attorneys have worked with clients to structure their digital rewards and gaming structures to avoid miscategorization as games of chance, delving deep into the intricacies of game design and tokenomics to provide informed and actionable legal counsel.
Additionally, traditional online gaming faces a potential revolution as decentralized gaming platforms have set their sights on breaking into the gambling, betting, and gaming market, leveraging the emergent power of “Web3” technologies and practices. The nature of these platforms and the way that users interact with them poses series concerns and questions regarding anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements and best practice. Working with frameworks developed to assist traditional gaming and securities clients, Dinsmore attorneys have worked with clients to develop, implement, and maintain AML and KYC policies and procedures to stay current with the current regulatory and technological landscape.
Fantasy Sports, eSports, Real-Time Games, Charitable Games and Changing Regulations
As the marketplace evolves, so do local, state, and federal regulations, and our attorneys counsel clients to ensure they can advance their offerings while complying with state and federal law. We advise clients on the regulatory scheme surrounding the online gaming industry, including fantasy sports, eSports, and real-time gaming. We assist gaming companies in raising funds, as well as advise investors on the legal risks associated with investing in gaming businesses. In addition, we assist gaming companies by drafting game rules; terms of service and privacy policies; negotiating contracts with their statistics providers, endorsers, influencers, and business partners; and assist with opinion letters to payment processors and their games under state and federal law.
Our attorneys prepare sweepstakes rules for some of the world’s leading video game franchises, draft related affidavits of eligibility and publicity releases, and review related advertising and promotional materials. Winners for related promotions have won a variety of prizes, from free tickets to NCAA college football games to points redeemable at Internet-based gambling companies.
We also advise non-profit and other clients on charitable gaming issues, including raffles, sweepstakes, and other games, and have conducted analysis for clients regarding Internet sweepstakes and skill games.
Commercial Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions
We have acted as primary and local counsel on a variety of acquisitions and financing of racetrack and gaming assets. Our attorneys provide comprehensive state law advice for commercial real estate, commercial lending, and deal document review in addition to specialty counsel on state agencies and regulations governing these unique transactions.
Our litigators understand the best way to advocate for clients means thinking about both the immediate impact and the broader context of an eventual outcome. We have represented clients in high profile gaming litigation involving the interpretation of federal and state gaming laws. We also represent gaming clients in contractual disputes, protection of intellectual property, corporate, and partnership matters in related or threatened litigation.
Lobbying and Legislation
Our attorneys know the hurdles new legislation must clear before becoming law and have past experience sponsoring legislation within the industry, including measures authorizing wagering on video re-runs of previously run horse races (historical horse racing). Clients and legislators seek our advice on state legislation and draft bill language. In Kentucky, we have provided educational materials, committee testimony, and information on other states’ sports betting and fantasy sports legislation to state lawmakers considering language for the commonwealth’s legislation.
Our attorneys represent developers who are building casinos or tribal gaming properties across the country and counsel them on reviewing and preparing development and finance-related agreements, equipment leases, and real property acquisitions.
Electronic Funds and Transfer
We assist fantasy and wagering companies by establishing and negotiating electronic payment relationships. This includes helping clients create programs to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) rules and regulations. We assist clients in establishing and maintaining electronic payment program managers, allowing for the processing of credit and debit cards, electronic funds transfers, ACH, and mobile phone authentication, all within AML and OFAC compliance.
As gaming innovators create new methods of play, our attorneys help protect their ideas, inventions, works, trademarks, and trade secrets. We manage and prosecute patent and trademark portfolios for companies of all sizes within the gaming industry. We also provide consultation for IP filings, enforcement, and licensing strategies for traditional and online-based gaming companies.
Our attorneys represent college coaches, administrators, and student-athletes in NCAA enforcement and infractions matters and counsel college coaches and their staffs on compliance related issues, including the NCAA’s Institutional Control Bylaw and Head Coach Responsibility Bylaw. We also represent coaches and administrators in employment-related matters, such as contract negotiations and separation agreements. Our attorneys also handle Title IX cases on behalf of student-athletes and represent and counsel student-athletes on amateurism and eligibility issues at the collegiate level and the high school level.