Gaming & Digital Media

Licensing, Transactions, and Dispute Resolution


GAMING

Blank Rome's gaming attorneys have significant experience in the representation of well-known casino operators, Native American gaming interests, gaming equipment manufacturers, racing and wagering operators, Internet operators, vendors, and other companies that invest in, or provide services to, the gaming or racing industry.

Our gaming attorneys assist clients in navigating the highly regulated gaming industry, including handling complex confidential investigations and regulatory proceedings. We counsel clients on the regulatory and business implications of financing, M&A, and restructuring, and advocate on their behalf in all types of securities matters, intellectual property rights, civil litigations, and criminal investigations. We also have particular knowledge of the quickly growing Internet gaming and wagering area.

Representative Matters

› Casino Gaming

  • Representation of a prominent hotel corporation in the acquisition of competing corporations and hotel properties; disposition of properties and businesses; and environmental, risk management, and energy-related matters pertaining to an $8 billion mixed-use construction project in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Representation of a casino developer/owner, including the preparation of a casino management agreement, project development agreement, and put/call strategies.
  • Partnership in the sale of a majority interest in a race track/gambling operation to the world’s largest casino operator.
  • Successfully obtaining the first commercial gaming license for a Native American tribe.
  • Counseling clients in the successful defense of a contested casino license award in the State Supreme Courts.
  • Licensing and compliance requirements facing hedge funds and institutional investors holding or seeking to acquire significant ownership interests in a gaming company under several state laws.
  • Regulatory implications of an operator restructuring debt during the sensitive licensing process.
  • Representation of an international Internet gaming company in the acquisition of a U.S.-based gaming company and media outlet.
  • Representation of an investor in litigation over a transaction to acquire two large Nevada casino properties.
  • Preparation and filing of voluminous licensing applications on behalf of the primary licensee, affiliated entities, principals, and key employees, and working with applicable gaming authorities to resolve licensing disputes and issues.
  • Represented a gaming vendor in obtaining a license in contested regulatory proceedings.
  • Advised on a joint venture in relation to Macau Studio City, a composite development in Cotai, Macau. The project was comprised of hotels, a spa, apartments, a leisure and entertainment center, retail stores, and a theater. The project site area was approximately 60,000 square meters and the approved gross floor area was approximately 140,000 square meters. Advice included the formation of a joint venture company, negotiating with the Macau government on modifications of the land grant, project financing, and the appointment of a project manager and other professionals.
  • Negotiations with private equity firms, lenders, and investors for funding on behalf of casino developers and operators.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a lawsuit brought against a gaming operator for allegedly failing to identify and deter a compulsive gambler.
  • Co-counsel to a pre-petition agent in respect of a $1.3 billion facility for a gaming company in Chapter 11.
  • Representation of a nationwide operator of premium entertainment venues to provide operational risk management counseling (e.g., liquor law compliance, guest interactions/detentions, crowd control) and to coordinate and enhance relationships with local law enforcement, business, and community groups.

› Racing and Wagering

  • Representation of a racetrack in a series of transactions, which reorganized the finances and significant operating contracts that enabled the racetrack to emerge from bankruptcy.
  • Successfully obtained one of the first racing licenses under Pennsylvania’s Gaming Act.
  • Representation of a bank in a $30 million loan to a racetrack operator.
  • Representing an advance deposit wagering company in a sale to a U.S.-based public gaming company, including post-transaction earn-out disputes.
  • Developed legislation successfully passed in multiple states to authorize Internet wagering on horse racing.
  • Representation of a wagering company in litigation over a rights agreement related to wagering offerings.
  • Representation of a wagering company in an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Representation of a horse racing operator in connection with an initiative to authorize racings in California.
  • Representation of a principal in an equity fund group that is looking to acquire a major advance deposit wagering company.
  • Representation of a racing operator in regulatory proceedings over the allocation of racing days.

› Internet Gaming, Wagering, and Sweepstakes

  • Advising numerous gaming companies, vendors, financial institutions, and payment systems on the strategies and impacts of managing risks under the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act.
  • Counseling clients on all aspects of the law in the creation, production, distribution, and registration of sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions for a variety of industries ranging from banking to entertainment properties to a major Philadelphia sports team.
  • Advising investors and operators on the risks of fantasy and social media games under federal and state laws.
  • Representing an international Internet gaming company in joint venture negotiations with a U.S. gaming operator.
  • Advised a major university on the legal risks and related strategies associated with a lottery for sporting events tickets.
  • Advising numerous investors, developers, and operators on the risks and opportunities in sports wagering and Internet gaming in the United States and internationally under federal and state laws.
  • Counseling clients on children’s social networking sites, user creation of children’s toys and games, and user-generated gaming websites with 42 million unique monthly visitors.

 

DIGITAL MEDIA

Blank Rome's digital media attorneys collaborate with digital business clients to effectively navigate the legal and regulatory challenges of the digital business landscape. We work with leading global companies and innovative start-ups that offer products and services through Internet, mobile, and digital media technologies, to help them succeed at every stage of their business. We provide client-focused advice on strategic, operational, and corporate matters, as well as knowledge guided by experience on the contentious aspects of doing business in the digital world. Most importantly, we are proactive in protecting our clients’ business interests, and we share forward-thinking ideas and practical recommendations that further their goals.

Our attorneys represent cutting-edge businesses that are focused on content creation, marketing, and distribution. Our multidisciplinary team of attorneys has structured and negotiated complex technology and content transactions, including strategic acquisitions of media and gaming companies, content licensing and distribution agreements, content supplier agreements, and commercial deals related to interactive marketing, branded consumer products and services, and Internet technologies. We advise clients on consumer and online contracts, sales and distribution, agreements with employees and consultants, data protection and management, and the numerous other legal issues associated with developing digital content channels.

Our understanding of the technology and digital media market in which our clients operate means that we are able to provide them with pragmatic and valuable advice to help them achieve their strategic objectives. We are fascinated by technology and innovation and are genuinely excited by our clients’ potential to grow and achieve commercial success in the digital world.

Our digital media practice capabilities encompass the following:

  • Internet and e-commerce transactions
  • gaming and interactive entertainment
  • intellectual property protection and enforcement
  • licensing/distribution agreements and joint ventures
  • privacy and security

We are proactive in protecting our clients’ business interests, and we share forward-thinking ideas and practical recommendations that further their goals.

› Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended Facebook, the social media pioneer, in a major patent litigation action that threatened the core of Facebook’s business. The action concluded with a jury verdict completely vindicating Facebook and the invalidating of the patent at issue.
  • Represented Netmarble Games, the leading mobile game publisher in South Korea, in its $130 million investment in SGN, one of the biggest and fastest growing mobile game studios in the United States. The investment is one of the largest in the mobile gaming industry since 2013, and makes Netmarble the largest stakeholder in SGN.
  • BigBalls Media, Inc. and BigBalls Media, Ltd., providing an array of content distribution, employment, and cross-border advices in the field of online content and the expanding soccer fanbase.
  • Represented a leading aftermarket autoparts manufacturer before the U.S. Copyright Office in testimony relating to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, offering sophisticated counsel on anti-circumvention and copyright infringement matters.
  • Successfully defended MPS Multimedia, Inc., one of the largest independent CD-ROM software developers, publishers, and distributors specializing in the licensing of educational and family entertainment software, in a federal copyright infringement litigation.
  • Handle patent work, as well as manage the worldwide trademark portfolio, of Accuweather, an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide.
  • Manage United Way Worldwide’s global trademark portfolio, provide clearance and registration for its trademarks, infringement protection, licensing, and related legal services. Recently, we advised UWW in connection with the development, management, and licensing of a software platform that facilitates relationships between charities, business, and individual donors.
  • Manage the trademark portfolio of Verisign, Inc., and render a variety of business and brand protection advices globally. Verisign is the global leader in domain names and Internet security.
  • Biggs/Gilmore Communications, Inc., a digital advertising and marketing agency, in its acquisition by VML, Inc., a leading digital marketing company and wholly owned subsidiary of WPP, a world leader in marketing communications services.


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