Client and Industry Challenges

Members of the casino and gaming industry regularly face legal challenges and opportunities, including navigating the regulatory and permitting process; developing new projects; negotiating complex transactions; navigating global supply chain compliance; addressing labor and employment concerns; protecting, commercially exploiting, enforcing and defending intellectual property; managing tax and real estate issues; and handling potential litigation or disputes with affiliated businesses or patrons. Gaming businesses need counsel who can react quickly, economically, and effectively to address virtually any legal situation that arises.

Snell & Wilmer's gaming law services include representation on substantive legal and regulatory gaming issues on a national basis. Our gaming lawyer team understands how to help clients navigate the complex regulatory and legal environments that confront businesses in the gaming industry.

Clients We Serve

Snell & Wilmer's gaming attorneys have represented casinos and gaming organizations, resorts and recreational businesses, gaming vendors, and others doing business on Native American lands, development companies, management firms, and financers.

Why Clients Select Us

Breadth and Depth: Our clients benefit from our full-service approach and industry experience. Whether we are involved in the development, purchase, sale, tax or management of gaming operations, systems or services, our casino and gaming attorneys understand the legal issues that arise and guide our clients to address them proactively and strategically. 


Our gaming lawyer team has experience with a broad range of business and legal concerns that affect the gaming industry. We have assisted gaming clients with various legal issues in the areas of general licensing and regulation, Native American law, online gaming, intellectual property, privacy, and data protection, lobbying and legislative affairs, real estate and finance, construction, litigation, immigration, labor and employment, and government and internal investigations. Specific examples of our gaming industry experience and services include:


  • Represented numerous gaming device manufacturers/suppliers on licensing matters related to state and tribal gaming operations
  • Drafted gaming ordinances and regulations
  • Drafted and negotiated gaming management contracts and collateral documents
  • Represented clients before state and tribal gaming agencies on regulatory, licensing, background investigations and disciplinary matters
  • Represented clients in matters involving online gaming

Native American Affairs

  • Negotiated Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, including the 2021 and 2022 Arizona Gaming Compacts
  • Obtained approval for gaming management contracts and collateral documents from the National Indian Gaming Commission and/or the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior
  • Obtained "declination" letters from the National Indian Gaming Commission on agreements not constituting management contracts
  • Representation on land-into-trust acquisitions for gaming and non-gaming purposes
  • Assisted clients in federal recognition process for Native American tribes
  • Prepared Classification opinions (Class II vs. Class III) for gaming devices and other games to be offered by tribal gaming operations
  • Represented clients in leasing of land, easements, rights-of-way, and similar land-use issues on Native American lands
  • Represented clients with issues relating to the National Environmental Policy Act, water rights, natural resources, Endangered Species Act and related environmental issues pertaining to tribal gaming operations
  • Negotiated Intergovernmental Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding for providing municipal services (e.g., water, sewer, fire, EMT, police) in support of tribal gaming operations

Intellectual Property

  • Served as counsel to several major Las Vegas casino resorts and hotels regarding trademark and copyright infringement (both enforcement and defense) 
  • Represented gaming system and device companies in procuring and building patent portfolios, enforcing patents for slot machines and other gaming systems
  • Defended gaming companies in various trademark and patent infringement matters, both from competitors and patent trolls
  • Represented gaming company in connection with investigating and prosecuting counterfeiting claims, including seeking a temporary restraining order, permanent injunction and damages against the counterfeiter
  • Represented casino resorts, hotels, and gaming companies in commercially exploiting their intellectual property/technology assets as part of an acquisition, and related licensing aspects, and procured on behalf of such parties’ license rights and waivers to use the intellectual property of others

Privacy and Data Protection

  • Assisted an international gaming technology organization in identifying and responding to a data breach incident involving the records of members of a casino's membership rewards program
  • Proactively advise clients about evolving challenges associated with new laws, regulations and best practices regarding data privacy, data protection, and cyber security, including compliance challenges when managing large volumes of personal data in an increasingly regulated environment
  • Incident response to cyber incursions, where gaming companies are attractive targets for malicious attacks by cyber criminals, including exfiltration of personal information, denial of service, exploitation of virtual currency and non-fungible tokens and cybersecurity hygiene

Lobbying and Legislative Affairs

  • Drafting proposed legislation, ruling requests, formal position papers and technical comments relating to the gaming industry
  • Informing clients on legislative and regulatory developments on gaming issues
  • Representing gaming clients called to testify before legislative committees and file comments on behalf of our clients in ongoing government rule-making proceedings
  • Representing clients related to support or opposing ballot initiatives impacting gaming issues
  • Forming and counseling political action committees and other non-profits related to campaign finance and independent expenditures related to elections that may influence the gaming industry

Real Estate and Finance

  • Represented national lender in connection with a $1,000,000,000.00+ construction loan/credit facility for a resort hotel casino property to be constructed on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Represented a national lender in connection with a bridge loan/credit facility for a resort hotel casino property on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Represented a national lender in connection with a note sale and the pre-negotiated acceptance of deed in lieu of foreclosure for a partially constructed resort hotel casino on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Represented global resort hotel casino company in connection with a ground lease to a well-known arena/operations company for the purpose of constructing a first of its kind, experiential concert arena
  • Represented global resort hotel casino company in connection with the purchase of a three-dimensional retail space in an adjacent retail facility
  • Represented global resort hotel casino company in connection with various leasing issues
  • Represented global resort hotel casino company in connection with a ground lease to a well-known arena/operations company for a multi-use arena on the Las Vegas Strip
  • Advised several resort hotel operators regarding operational issues relevant to condominium hotels
  • Represented well-known downtown hotel casino properties in negotiation of various credit facilities and day-to-day operational issues
  • Represented downtown hotel operator in connection with various leasing issues and operational issues
  • Advised global hotel resort company in connection with the bankruptcy of a high-profile exhibitor
  • Represented global resort hotel company in connection with the disposition of its primary hotel casino asset in Las Vegas
  • Represented global resort hotel casino company in the acquisition of its new headquarters
  • Represented global resort hotel company in connection with the acquisition of office properties to be used for a corporate campus
  • Represented well-known hotel casino and convenience store operator in a large credit facility covering 25+ pieces of collateral in Clark County
  • Represented numerous developers of luxury retail properties in all aspects of development, leasing, and site integration with various resort hotel casino operators


  • Defended gaming clients in federal, state and tribal courts, on issues involving sovereign immunity, fee-to-trust applications, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Indian Reorganization Act and gaming compact interpretation/ratification
  • Defended a Las Vegas Strip resort property in multiple plaintiff claims arising out of legionella outbreaks and have provided counsel to resorts on the handling of such cases and remediation efforts
  • Represented numerous Las Vegas casino properties in disputes with joint venture partners, restaurant tenants and performance artists
  • Advised a multi-billion-dollar master-planned urban complex located on the Las Vegas Strip on closing and post-closing disputes
  • Defended a hotel/casino in purported nationwide class action relating to a telephone surcharge
  • Defended hotel/casinos in a variety of plaintiff class action lawsuits related to alleged securities fraud
  • Defended hotel/casino boards of directors in shareholder derivative lawsuits related to alleged breach of fiduciary duty


  • Represented companies in obtaining all types of non-immigrant work visas for their foreign national employees
  • Assisted businesses with the PERM labor certification process through the Department of Labor
  • Represented companies and individuals with employment and family-based immigrant petitions through the permanent residency process
  • Advised clients of the unique immigration challenges in a reduction in force or sale/purchase of a business
  • Assisted businesses with immigration compliance matters including ICE audits
  • Counseled on best practices to companies in the immigration area
  • Provided up-to-date information to clients on immigration law changes
  • Worked with the USCIS, the National Visa Center, and the Department of Labor on behalf of clients

Labor and Employment

  • Represented multiple resorts, hotels, casinos, restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and other employers in the gaming industry in employment claims including wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation actions
  • Regularly provide guidance on best practices, and prepare and draft handbooks and various other policies and procedures
  • Assist in defending gaming employers in navigating government agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal or state employment agencies
  • Defend employers in labor and employment related litigation
  • Assist gaming employers in obtaining injunctive relief against former employees that have violated restrictive covenants and common law duties
  • Represented multiple resorts, hotels, casinos, restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and gaming industry employers in various labor disputes including advising on labor contract negotiations and organization campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, handling labor arbitrations, and defending management before the National Labor Relations Board and other related government agencies

Government and Internal Investigations

  • Conducted an investigation for management of a gaming device company related to accounting and export issues
  • Represented gaming device company in negotiations with government agency related to export issues
  • Counseled clients regarding compliance with laws related to anti-money laundering (including finCEN), anti-corruption, export and import controls (including tariffs), and other “know your customer” requirements