Gaming and betting in London

CMS

As part of global network of gambling experts capable of serving clients in more than 40 countries around the world, CMS’s London team makes use of its diverse specialisms to offer gambling clients a genuine full service; the practice advises on intellectual property, tax, litigation and corporate issues. The remote gambling sector is a particular focus, and the team aids clients in the online space with compliance issues and investigations by the Gambling Commission. David Zeffman leads the practice while also managing long-standing relationships with some of the largest players in the sector. Anna Soilleux-Mills is well-versed in advising on regulatory and compliance issues arising in M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

David Zeffman

Testimonials

‘Great team, always available, very knowledgeable, expert insight to our business.

‘Alasdair Lamb is such a great lawyer, thorough, helpful and incredibly intelligent.’

 

Key clients

888

AsianLogic

Bede Gaming

Betfred

BetVictor

Cirsa

Gamesys

Hong Kong Jockey Club

IMG

LeoVegas

Livescore

Matchbook

Rank Group

Roxor Gaming

SkyBet

SkyCity

Sports Information Services

White Hat Gaming

XLMedia

Work highlights

  • Advised online gaming group Gamesys and its majority shareholders on the sale of the group (other than its sports brands and games studio) to JPJ Group plc, the UK Main Market listed online gambling group for cash and listed shares valued at approximately £490m.
  • Advised The Rank Group Plc, on its £115.3m agreed takeover of listed online gaming company Stride plc to create the number two player in UK online bingo and number six player in UK online gaming.
  • Acting for the Defendant, Sports Information Services Limited, in a complex case relating to the creation and provision of horse racing betting odds and other data relating to horseraces at the racecourses of the Second Claimant, Arena Leisure Limited. The claim is valued by the claimant at not less than £40m.

Harris Hagan

A specialist licencing and regulatory firm, Harris Hagan is described as ‘without a doubt, the premier gaming and betting practice in the UK’. The practice is led by Julian Harris and John Hagan  - the duo are 'acknowledged leading practitioners in this field' and have impressive experience of advising some of the most significant land-based and online gambling clients on licence applications, compliance issues and commission investigations. Bahar Alaeddini advises numerous start-ups, and is frequently instructed by other leading law firms, private equity firms and large banks to provide specialist licencing and regulatory expertise in respect of corporate investments and transactions. Alongside regulatory work, the team also provides training in relation to anti-money laundering, social responsibility and gambling advertising. The team also includes former DLA Piper gambling co-head Hilary Stewart-Jones, who joined as a consultant in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Julian Harris; John Hagan

Testimonials

‘Clear, practical advice from enthusiastic people who know the industry inside-out. Harris Hagan are truly leaders in this space.’

‘Julian Harris is a heavyweight veteran in the field.’

‘John Hagan is a great networker who brings people together to make things happen.’

‘Bahar Alaeddini is clear-minded, has a calm disposition and is delightful to work with.’

‘David Whyte is experienced from his background at the UK Gambling Commission and is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Harris Hagan are specialists who have a long history of legal assistance, advice and guidance to the gaming industry. They have a broad cross-section of talent within their team and work hard to ensure that they give up to date advice on the constantly moving and often political application of regulation in this area.’

‘Bahar Alaeddini is a focused and common-sense lawyer who excels in the regulatory law field, being able to confidently analyse a given set of circumstances and give straight forward advice.’

‘John Hagan and Julian Harris are two of the most senior lawyers working in this field and they have an international perspective which is essential in the modern business world. 

‘Every team member I have worked with at Harris Hagan has provided a professional and yet personal service. I would never go elsewhere.’

‘Hilary Stewart-Jones is amazing. There’s really nothing more I can say – she is awesome at her job. Very reasonable. Very thoughtful. And always trying to find ways to help us without overcharging.’

‘A good lawyer always has the best interests of their clients ahead of anything else. This is Harris Hagan in a nutshell.’

‘Harris Hagan is, without a doubt, the premier gaming and betting practice in the UK. The firm works as an effective team covering not only all aspects of licencing (including regulatory investigations and individual licencing) but also provides hands-on assistance with training, development of compliance programmes and governance structures which respond to regulatory requirements and offers clear, operational advice. It has a strong M&A ability for relevant companies and is knowledgeable and informative about industry changes, changing regulatory emphasis, and industry initiatives. It works effectively with regulators and other stakeholders.’

‘Julian Harris and John Hagan are acknowledged leading practitioners in the field. They fight for their clients unceasingly and, beside their supreme industry knowledge have a deep understanding of how gaming and betting businesses work and are adept at tailoring their advice to ensure that companies, of all sizes, receive appropriate guidance, reflective of organisational limitations. In a complex industry, governed by regulation, codes of practice, and regulatory guidance, Julian and John are always focused on outcome and can always be relied upon to provide consistent and detailed advice which is always capable of implementation – they make it one of their priorities to understand internal organisation and capabilities. They are courageous in their approach to issues: they maintain a clear sense of what is right and what course of action will protect licences and businesses and also maintain a straightforward and firm approach in dealing with regulators.’

 

Work highlights

  • Acted on numerous operating licence reviews for high-profile and international gambling operators.
  • Acted on four personal licence reviews of senior executives.
  • Provided personal management licence training to operating licensees and individuals.

Ince

Ince provides a broad spectrum of gaming and betting services, advising on domestic and cross-border licence applications, investigations by the Gambling Commission and complex compliance issues. Andrew Cotton has many years’ experience assisting overseas-based remote operators and software suppliers with licence applications, in addition to advising on lotteries, prize competitions and draws. Andrew Tait, who now spends much of his time in Gibraltar following the firm’s acquisition of Rampart Corporate Advisors in 2019, draws on his industry experience to advise on drafting of associated commercial contracts covering gambling software licenses and sponsorship agreements, risk restructuring and anti-money-laundering risk assessments. Alex Ktorides advises on a variety of licencing issues and frequently assists clients with bribery and corruption matters. Philip Somarakis leads the regulatory solutions group.

Practice head(s):

Philip Somarakis

Testimonials

‘The Gibraltar team that we deal with is small but highly specialised.’

Key clients

Alot Solutions

Relax Gaming

Spin Games LLC

Rafflrs Prize Limited

Fermat Tech

Metric Gaming LLC

Nektan

Broadway Gaming Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Spin Games on securing the grant of a gambling software operating licence from the Gambling Commission, including policy drafting, testing requirements and ongoing compliance.
  • Advised Rafflrs Prize Limited on statutory exemptions under Gambling Act 2005 permitting prize competitions and compliance with both the requirements under gambling regulation to prevent product being categorised as an illegal lottery.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s regulatory practice advises on the full range of licencing and compliance issues for gaming and betting clients, while the broader team has expertise covering M&A, intellectual property, data protection and tax. A particular focus in recent months has been investigations by the Gambling Commission; the team has frequently represented clients before the Commission's Regulatory Panel. Practice head Susan Breen - 'the leader extraordinaire' - is a specialist in corporate law and advises many of the industry's leading operators, service providers and business owners both in the UK and internationally. Nick Nocton is the leading regulatory practitioner and provides ‘clear, timely and well-considered’ advice on the regulatory aspects of cross-border M&A deals, reorganisations, business redomiciliations and joint ventures. The 'meticulousNiki Stephens acts for land-based and remote operators in connection with regulatory enforcement action by the Gambling Commission. Corporate partner Stuart McMaster is regarded as 'a data protection expert' with regards to issues concerning the gambling sector.

Practice head(s):

Susan Breen

Testimonials

‘Susan Breen is the leader extraordinaire. She is so good with clients and her team alike.’

‘Not many firms offer a specialisation in gambling law that the team at Mishcon do.’

‘Having worked in the industry directly, Nick Nocton offers on-point advice to us on multiple legal matters that us as operators are subject to. His advice is clear, timely and well considered.’

‘Niki Stephens is into the details of gambling law and regulation and is able to deliver advice on specific rules and regulations. We have also been assisted by Niki on contract matters. She is meticulous and her drafting leaves little to interpretation.’

‘The practice is able to combine deep knowledge and expertise of regulatory law in the gambling sector including related areas such as anti-money laundering, with an excellent traditional litigation practice that ensures a comprehensive service.’

‘Niki Stephens is highly knowledgeable and very persistent in following through on complex questions to get the best results for the client.’

‘They are just superb. They really are top-tier. What differentiates them is the respective teams really can gel well to get to the crux of the issues, which cannot be said for many other big-name firms that use various teams in multiple departments with no flow or collaboration. The gaming team can cover any issue from any department as it is managed so seamlessly. I have always liked working with Mishcon and did many, many deals with them as a lawyer in a different capacity over the years, but I have been blown away at the level of competency this year with some very tricky and complex regulatory matters.’

‘Nick Nocton has clear expertise in the gambling sector, with real insight into the Gambling Commission’s priorities and concerns.’

‘Susan Breen has both a superb understanding of all online gaming in the UK and globally. Niki Stephens is also experienced in the UK requirements. Susan also makes herself available at short notice, never misses deadlines, however tight and offers different solutions to problems. She is able to influence decision making with her wide knowledge rather than just being able to carry out specific requirements.’

Key clients

DraftKings Inc.

Gamesys Group plc

GVC Holdings plc

Bede Gaming

Videoslots

SportPesa

Kambi plc

Gaming Innovation Group

Victoria Gate Casino

Catena Media plc

Work highlights

  • Advised online gaming operator and existing client JPJ Group plc on its £490m acquisition of the privately held Gamesys group.
  • Appointed to GVC’s inaugural legal panel.
  • Provided DraftKings with international gambling regulatory advice in connection with its $3.3bn merger with SBTech.

Wiggin LLP

Wiggin LLP’s ‘leading combination of specialists’ are a go-to practice for all types of regulatory work; the team advise on licensing, compliance, regulatory investigations and international risk strategies. The firm also advises on corporate issues including M&A, joint ventures, buyouts, and restructuring. Jason Chess specialises in advising the most high-profile clients in the online gambling sector, representing both platforms and operators. Chess co-leads the team alongside Stephen Ketteley, who has added a focus on the UK land-based casino sector to his longstanding online expertise in 2019. David McLeish has an ‘outstanding sector track record’ of advising some of the industry's leading names on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Ketteley; Jason Chess

Testimonials

‘Highly knowledgeable. Very up to date. Very creative and thinking out of the box. And very friendly.’

 

‘Steve Ketteley is one of the experts in the gambling sector – his advice has always been spot-on and in line with the latest developments. Furthermore he is available 24/7 and he understands that this is the nature of the industry, hence his round the clock availability.’

‘We have seen Chris Elliott become an expert in this field. His advice is reliable, spot-on and up to date with industry changes.’

‘Probably the leading combination of specialists in the betting and gaming sector, with leading individuals in the key fields of regulation, commercial and strategic deal-making.’

‘David McLeish has an outstanding sector track record – his leading private-practice and in-house roles gives him great credibility.’

‘Stephen Ketteley is probably the leading regulatory lawyer in the sector with tremendous experience and expertise.’

‘Simon Bernholt is a leading commercial lawyer in the sector who brings his sound judgement skills from his previous in-house, as well as private practice, roles.’

‘Jason Chess is quite simply the best!’

‘David McLeish and Chris Elliott both take the time to understand a situation and apply their knowledge accordingly and give pragmatic advice. They have been very responsive and provide advice which is clear and helpful.’

‘Quite simply, I would be lost without the team at Wiggin. Excellent advice is a given.’

‘A fantastic and approachable team who are a joy to work with.’

‘Steve Kettley gets to the heart of the issues quickly; advises on a range of topics and has unrivalled industry knowledge – I don’t think I could ask him a question he does not immediately have a high-level answer for.’

‘Given his previous GC role at Playtech, David McLeish’s counsel is always practical and takes into account the realities of our business and the stakeholder issues. A fantastic sounding-board.’

 

Key clients

The Stars Group (including Sky Bet)

bet365

Playtech

William Hill

Worldpay

GVC (including Ladbrokes Coral)

LeoVegas

Genius Sports

Gamesys Group (including Jackpotjoy)

Betsson

SBTech

Evolution Gaming

Safecharge

Clairvest

Work highlights

  • Advised GVC on a regulatory investigation by the UK Gambling Commission into historic AML and social responsibility failings.
  • Advised Clairvest on its majority investment in FSB Technology, a leading sports betting platform and white label solutions provider.
  • Advised The Stars Group on various regulatory, corporate and commercial matters arising from the acquisition of Sky Bet.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP exhibits ‘deep industry knowledge and commercial empathy’ in advising some of the sector’s biggest clients on a range of issues; the practice has expertise in regulatory matters, M&A, intellectual property and advertising. Practice head Andrew Danson, who has driven the practice’s development since his arrival in 2017, is ‘an absolute expert’ in gambling regulation, advising on matters relating to white label, software supply, content streaming, data rights, hedging and affiliate deals. Senior associate Elizabeth Dunn is the lead practitioner on all gambling matters for several significant clients and regularly advises on online gambling regulation and a broad range of other commercial gambling matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Danson

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Dunn

Testimonials

‘Breadth and depth of expertise across all aspects of the sector across a number of different regulatory jurisdictions.’

‘Seasoned professionals who have built a reputation for integrity and reliability in a very crowed market.’

‘Bird & Bird provide outstanding legal advice at reasonable rates. Their thorough knowledge of the UK gambling market is paired with their advice always having the business impact of decisions in mind and trying hard to find the most feasible way forward to the client’s benefit.

‘Andy Danson is an absolute expert in the UK gambling market. Andy is very responsive and always available to give clear and precise advice. This is unique, but very important for us, in particular when seeking local UK advice amidst a transaction or regulatory process, when time is undoubtedly essential. This makes working with Andy and his team very enjoyable and straight forward.’

‘The team have deep industry knowledge and commercial empathy that is refreshing when compared to other firms. Clearly their legal advice is sound, but the context in which it is delivered makes their involvement more valuable.’

‘Diligent, professional and hard working. Every individual in the team creates an impression that we are their only client and our business is important.’

‘Mix of tech savvy but old-school reliability.’

‘The strength of the Bird & Bird team is that they demystify legal issues for the customer. Working with Bird & Bird has made potentially complicated legal matters far more easy.’

‘The input of Lizzie Dunne and Andy Danson has felt like both individuals are actually part of our in-house team.’

‘Bird & Bird showed excellent ability to draw from a wide range of specialists, synergize effectively their capabilities and resources, and seamlessly integrate these into final deliverables.’

‘Andy Danson possesses expertise in the field of gaming and betting practice, as well as the ability to understand the commercial needs of the client, and to offer creative solutions to issues at hand.’

‘Fantastic profile in terms of tech and data rights issues in the gambling sector – our go-to firm for data (and commercial) matters.’

 

 

Key clients

Hong Kong Jockey Club

QuinnBet

Metric Gaming

ZEAL/MyLotto24

Football Index

BetBull

Arsenal FC

Mob Inc

Gamesys

JASIS Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Hong Kong Jockey Club on the international regulatory elements of its deal with Pari Mutuel Urbain.
  • Advised new client BetBull on the migration of its white label service (previously operated by Vivaro) to operating its own service under its own British licence.
  • Advised Metric Gaming on a wide range of gambling regulatory, commercial, tax, employment and data protection matters.

Kemp Little LLP

Kemp Little LLP deploys its longstanding strength in technology and digital media to aid clients from the remote gaming sector on the development of micro-payments and cryptocurrencies, while also advising on data protection, strategic projects and licencing. A recent focus has been helping suppliers and operators as they develop and adapt new tools to promote responsible gambling. Practice head Susan Biddle has been active in the online gambling space since its infancy; she continues to work with some of the sector's largest names, as well as early stage tech-based companies.

Practice head(s):

Susan Biddle

Testimonials

‘Very in-depth expertise in gaming and betting – when combined with the firm’s expertise in fintech (including blockchain and cryptocurrencies) and advertising, the team is able to provide holistic advice with regard to gaming and betting products and activities.’

‘Strong focus on online and mobile gaming/betting and up-to-date with regard to legal issues with innovative technologies.’

‘Very efficient and state of the art service level. Super reliable.’

Key clients

William Hill Online (WHG (International) Limited)

Gamblewise Limited

Property Prizes Limited

SKW Schwarz for Hugo Boss

Leeway BV for Yamaha Motor Europe NV

Work highlights

  • Advised the new legal team at William Hill on the detail of two longterm and strategic agreements with Playtech in relation to the provision of casino, poker and bingo software and services.
  • Advised Gamblewise Limited, a UK company set up by international gambling consultant Andrew Tottenham and others, to provide a mobile product to help gamblers control the time they spend gambling.
  • Advised Property Prizes Limited both strategic and detailed advice on structuring competitions, and their operation, promotion and financing, so they do not constitute gaming, lotteries or betting within the gambling regulatory regime in Great Britain, or breach the ASA’s CAP Code.

Memery Crystal LLP

Memery Crystal LLP utilises its ‘excellent gaming expertise’ to advise media groups, sports clubs and multinational companies on both corporate transactions and regulatory compliance issues. The firm's range of advice extends to fraud, anti-money laundering, tax, restructuring and litigation. Practice head Carl Rohsler, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs in 2018, is a ‘leader in his field’ and frequently advises lottery operators on commercial disputes and partnership arrangements. Lesley Gregory uses her expertise in corporate law to advise on M&A, capital markets and financing issues as they relate to the sector, while also serving as chairman of the firm.

Practice head(s):

Carl Rohsler

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Gregory

Testimonials

‘Exceptionally commercial approach with a deep understanding of all gambling products and the workings of the industry.’

‘Carl Rohsler is very smart, quick to grasp problems and advise on sensible approaches to commercial solutions, Government consultations and conflict resolution. He is a true “one stop shop” for all gaming related matters.’

‘Carl Rohsler is a leader in his field and is very bright. He is able to give practical advice on complex issues, weighing the benefits against the risks.’

‘Carl Rohsler is a lottery and gaming specialist, working with us on the development of new gaming products; providing legal counsel on both legislative and regulatory matters and drafting and negotiating supplier agreements. As well as providing detailed and clear responses to our requests, Carl is extremely personable, engaging and accommodating.’

‘Carl Rohsler is extremely experienced and knowledgeable in his respective fields, and where needed he makes the extra effort to learn and research the necessary. He is straightforward, and focuses on what is best for the client and not just what the client thinks it needs. Available around the clock and works tirelessly.’

 

Key clients

Health Lottery

888.com

Scottish TV Group

FremantleMedia

Telegraph Media Group

Gaming Realms (Slingo.com/Pocket Fruity/X Factor Games)

Fulham FC

Arm Candy/Gear Digital

Union Jaxx

Avantage Entertainment LLC

Buzz Bingo Limited

Goldchip Gaming

Metric Gaming

West Bromwich Albion FC

Aston Villa FC

Breast Cancer Care

2N Gaming

DS Virtual Gaming

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of Gaming Realm’s B2C subsidiary Bear group to River iGaming for £11.5m.
  • Advised one of the bidders for the UK National Lottery Bid.
  • Advised Fremantle in relation to a dispute with its gambling partner for brands that shut down in December 2019, including Love Island and The XFactor.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s international team has a ‘unique ability to dissect complex issues’; the team provides licensing advice as well as handling intellectual property, advertising and tax issues. Diane Mullenex, who splits her time between the firm's London and Paris offices, is the head of the team globally and has expertise in both the UK and French gambling market. Audrey Ferrie leads the UK group from the Glasgow office; her practice involves licence applications and advising on the whole range of regulatory obligations under the UKGC regime. Corporate specialist Gareth Jones  specialises in capital markets and has advised on the IPOs of a number of gaming sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Diane Mullenex

Other key lawyers:

Audrey Ferrie; Gareth Jones

Testimonials

‘This is a team with great depth and understanding. They work very well as a team and are dependable. They have a particular and unique ability to be able to dissect complex issues with a view to achieving the client’s desired result.’

‘Diane Mullenex is well connected, experienced and has useful gravitas. She is commercially minded and has an ability to think outside the box, as well as good communication skills.’

Key clients

Canaccord Genuity Limited

Stride Gaming plc

XL Media plc

CH & Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Stride Gaming plc on the recommended cash offer made for it by The Rank Group plc. The transaction was structured as a Jersey Court scheme of arrangement and required, amongst other things, the approval of the Gambling Commission of Great Britain to the change of control in Daub Alderney (its licensed subsidiary).
  • Providing day-to-day corporate advice to XLMedia as well as advice in several other areas including advertising and employment.
  • Advised Canaccord Genuity Limited in its role as sponsor and co-financial adviser and broker, in connection with the £490m acquisition by JPJ Group plc of the business of Gamesys (Holdings) Limited.

Poppleston Allen

Based in Nottingham, Poppleston Allen’s boutique licensing practice advises on applications, appeals, investigations and compliance issues. Key practitioner Nick Arron is instructed by both large corporations and single-site operators; his client list includes bookmakers, bingo operators and adult gaming centre arcades.  

Practice head(s):

Nick Arron

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP’s gaming practice frequently advises gambling start-ups on the obtainment of licences as well as data protection, advertising and corporate issues. Graham Hann leads the practice; he has a broad practice covering commercial, IT and data issues, with a particular focus on eGaming.

Practice head(s):

Graham Hann

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has an 'understanding of a variety of regulatory regimes, coupled with direct knowledge of the gambling industry' that enables it to advise casinos, bingo, arcades and betting shops as well as innovative online operators on the full spectrum of licencing issues. Craig Baylis leads the practice and regularly acts in licensing appeals before the Crown Court. Jeremy Bark demonstrates a 'keen sense of commercial realities' in handling licence applications in both the gambling and liquor industries.

Practice head(s):

Craig Baylis

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Bark

Testimonials

‘BCLP is uniquely placed to deliver gaming and betting advice by reason of its ability to draw on partner experience and expertise in the related field of criminal law. The firm has in-depth understanding of a variety of regulatory regimes coupled with direct knowledge of the gambling industry which allows them to give practical and commercial advice on a pragmatic basis.’

‘Jeremy Bark has a deep understanding of a broad range of regulatory law which informs his advice and representation of commercial clients in the gambling sphere. He is exceptionally hardworking, knowledgeable and pragmatic. Clients particularly like him for his approachability combined with a keen sense of commercial realities and good judgement.’

‘Craig Baylis knows the situations and the people you need to talk to, and how to talk to them.’

 

Key clients

The Hippodrome

Work highlights

  • Advised The Hippodrome on all of its legal gambling requirements and have made a variety of applications for it over the last year.

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP’s primary focus in the gambling sector is advising clients on transactional issues; the team advises land-based and online operators on corporate structuring, M&A and tax matters, with a particular focus on corporate and real estate-related work. Grant Gordon is the head of the corporate department and centres his practice on advising clients on corporate transactions and the associated licensing and regulatory issues. Nigel Gordon advises on various corporate issues including schemes of arrangement and share capital reductions. Alan Wetterhahn  is recommended for his work on GDPR compliance.

Practice head(s):

Grant Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Gordon; Alan Wetterhahn

Key clients

Adam Arviv and Sebastian Bastian

Red Tiger Gaming

NGV Intergalactic Software Limited

Aspers UK Holdings Limited (and subsidiaries)

Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP

Andrew Herd

Work highlights

  • Acted on the sale of Red Tiger Gaming Limited, a leading online casino game software supplier, to digital entertainment company, NetEnt.
  • Advised an international private consortium on the purchase of the entire share capital of GoldBlue Ltd, subsidiary of the NGM Nordic MTF listed GoldBlue AB.
  • Acted for Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP, the investment vehicle of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, on its investment in Sonco Gaming UK Ltd. Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP owns 25.86% of the issued share capital of Sonco Gaming UK Ltd.

Hugh James

Hugh James, which is based in Cardiff, provides a full service to domestic and international gambling clients, and is especially active in matters relating to sports betting and licensing. Aled Walters leads the commercial side of the practice, advising operators, casinos and online gaming companies on corporate, commercial and intellectual property issues. Martin Jones is head of the regulatory department; his practice involves assisting clients in obtaining licences from the Gambling Commission and advising operators on compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Aled Walters

Other key lawyers:

Martin Jones

Key clients

Raffle House Limited

iBet Group Limited

Rock ‘N Rolla Management Limited

Amelco

Novomatic UK Limited

Depot Warehouse Limited

Roffles

Flying Laptops Productions Limited

7 Days Performance Limited

Work highlights

  • Continues to act on corporate acquisitions for Novomatic UK, Austria and Swiss subsidiaries as well as dealing with brand licensing agreements.
  • Obtainined a Bingo Operating licence (as well as a new alcohol licence) for a “new breed” operator in the bingo sector.
  • Represented a major casino chain on gambling regulation matters arising from the use of gaming machine special promotions and also advising the same client on reform if its UK Anti-Money Laundering procedures.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP’s integrated sports and gambling practice provides commercial, regulatory and disputes advice to gambling operators and sports governing bodies at a domestic and international level. More specifically, the group has a particular focus is the exploitation of sports data for betting purposes. ‘Very knowledgeable’ practice head Warren Phelops handles various commercial issues including drafting commercial agreements, software licensing, hedging and IP licensing contracts. Senior associate Michael Llewellyn advises on both retail and online gambling clients on corporate and regulatory aspects of commercial transactions. Martin King is recommended for disputes.

Practice head(s):

Warren Phelops

Other key lawyers:

Michael Llewellyn; Martin King

Testimonials

‘Very personal and professional attention. They go the extra mile to help.’

‘Warren Phelops is a very knowledgeable and well-connected lawyer – always happy to help.’

‘Michael Llewellyn and Warren Phelops show enthusiasm, professionalism and wide knowledge and understanding of our industry.’

‘Conversations with Michael Llewellyn and Warren Phelops leave us feeling confident in how to move forward. It is clear that they have strong experience.’

 

Key clients

The Racing Partnership

Arena Racing Corporation

Aspire Global

Anakatech

Work highlights

  • Advised on claims for database right and copyright infringement, breach of confidence and unlawful means conspiracy, relating to the use of on-course horse racing and betting data in off-course fixed-odds betting services in betting shops.
  • Advised Arena Racing Corporation and The Racing Partnership on a broad range of commercial and regulatory matters relating to the exploitation of media rights and data rights.
  • Advised Arena Racing Corporation on both the corporate and regulatory aspects in relation to the acquisition of various gambling related businesses.

Keystone Law

The practitioners at Keystone Law advises gambling operators on issues such as regulatory law, corporate transactions, gaming duty, commercial agreements, debt recovery and data protection. Richard Williams and Niall McCann are both specialist regulatory lawyers; the former handles operating licences and the risks of operating in international markets, while the latter focuses on lotteries, competitions and promotional draws. The team has both land-based and online gaming expertise and is therefore able to advise casinos and adult gaming centres as well as online betting and lottery operators.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Williams; Niall McCann

Testimonials

‘Experience in their field. Many firms will give an opinion on e-gaming related matters with very little actual knowledge. Keystone has people in the organisation who are extremely knowledgeable and experienced.’

‘Keystone Law was extremely helpful in rectifying the previous work we had done and making sure we had all the necessary legal documentation to be able to launch our business.’

‘Richard Williams has been exceptional in advising and helping us launch a business in an industry that we were not that familiar with.’

 

Key clients

Hydro Solutions Fylde Limited

Jumbo Interactive Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Australian lottery provider Jumbo Interactive Limited in connection with its acquisition of Gatherwell Limited, a leading schools lottery operator in the UK.

Northridge Law LLP

Sports boutique Northridge Law LLP, which was founded in 2017, launched a gambling practice in 2019 as a complement to its top-tier sports offering. The team advises some of the most well-known sports betting operators on regulatory compliance, sponsorship agreements and licence applications. Melanie Ellis, who arrived from Harris Hagan to lead the practice, has substantial experience in regulatory issues and advises on licensing, advertising and anti-money laundering procedures. Fellow new recruit Tom Edmonds, also from Harris Hagan, previously worked in-house at a gambling software company, giving him an understanding of commercial agreements between companies in the sports and betting sectors.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Tom Edmonds

Testimonials

‘No-nonsense , specialist expertise delivered promptly.’

‘I worked with the Northridge team before they formed Northridge and I am very happy to still be working with them. Melanie Ellis and Tom Edmonds were able to steer us through UKGC licencing with minimal hassle for what is a complicated and involved process.’

‘Melanie Ellis and Tom Edmonds managed the all aspects of our licence process with patience, care and consideration. They were able to help us understand what needed to be done and how to minimise any friction.’

‘Melanie Ellis is knowledgeable and an authority on UK gaming – this gives confidence and guidance to my company and ensures we do not run foul of any regulation or current directive. Her team are well versed and methodical in task execution and have both a commercial flair to the task at hand and not just a legalistic approach.’

‘Accessibility is key and all members of the team are responsive and answer out of office times – even during the lockdown we had calls and discussions and this gives a sense of security and ownership of our issues.’

 

Key clients

Paddy Power Betfair

NetEnt

Prophet

Genius Sports

SportStack

Betway

RPGG

SportsBroker

Funder

Banach

Work highlights

  • Advised NetEnt (one of the largest global games developers) on gambling licensing and compliance matters.
  • Advised Paddy Power Betfair on regulatory compliance and changes to the Money Laundering Regulations.
  • Advised Betway on various sponsorship agreements with sports teams, including its sponsorship of West Ham.

RPC

RPC specialises in advising clients in the sports betting sphere on commercial transactions and disputes. Sport data is a particular focus, with the firm representing sports betting brands and sports data content providers on contentious and non-contentious issues relating to live data and broadcasting matters. Commercial head Jeremy Drew leads the team; he has a broad practice advising on licensing, sponsorship deals and disputes. Paul Joseph is an IP and technology specialist; he advises on licensing disputes involving the provision of gaming and casino software. Associate Josh Charalambous acts for a variety of clients including gaming and eSports owners as well as sports betting companies

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Drew; Josh Charalambous

Other key lawyers:

Paul Joseph

Key clients

Flutter Entertainment (owner of PaddyPower Betfair)

LeoVegas

BetConstruct

Sports Direct (owner of BELONG Gaming)

VBet

FeedConstruct

Work highlights

  • Advised VBet on all aspects of its innovative global partnership agreement with Arsenal FC which has formed part of VBet’s brand-launch in the UK.
  • Advised Sports Direct in its acquisition of GAME Digital, which included the BELONG Gaming Arena business which provides competitive gaming arenas for eSports competitions.
  • Advising FeedConstruct on its suite of agreements for the supply of high-quality live streams, odds feeds, statistics and scouting data to sports betting operators.