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Firms To Watch: Gaming and betting

Latham & Watkins strengthened its betting and gaming practice significantly with the arrival of Mike Turner, who focuses on venture capital, private equity and M&A transactions in the sector, from Taylor Wessing LLP in May 2020.
McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP considerably expanded its expertise in the gaming and betting space in early 2021 with the arrivals of Simon Airey, a specialist in fraud and money laundering investigations and regulatory compliance, and associate Joshua Domb from Paul Hastings LLP.
Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur lead the betting and gaming practice at Leeds-based Woods Whur, which specialises in advising gambling operators on licensing and regulatory matters, with particular expertise in the casino market.

Gaming and betting in London

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's 'very strong' gaming and betting team is well known for its expertise in regulatory and licensing work, acting for some of the UK's largest gambling operators. The team has also been increasingly active recently assisting its gambling clients with high-profile corporate transactions, technology projects and disputes. It has drawn on the strength of the firm's market-leading data protection, IP, technology and sports practices to advise on sports data rights matters in the betting sector and sponsorship arrangements for professional football clubs. Thanks to the firm's international network of offices, the team is also able to advise on cross-border mandates involving key gambling jurisdictions in Europe and Asia. Andy Danson, who has extensive expertise in gambling regulatory and commercial matters, leads the practice. In addition, senior associate Elizabeth Dunn is particularly experienced in online gambling regulation and commercial gambling matters.

Practice head(s):

Andy Danson

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Dunn; Simon Fielder; Robert Turner

Testimonials

‘The Bird & Bird gaming team is very strong.’

‘Bird & Bird’s gaming team understands all the legal and regulatory aspects of our proposed transactions, while at the same time approaching problems with a commercial mindset. Where other lawyers see their job as identifying problems, the Bird & Bird team is invested in the success of our enterprise.’

‘Andy Danson and his team are very responsive, creative and commercial. They have been reliable partners on a highly complex and long-term project.’

‘Professional and knowledgeable. An incredibly safe pair of hands.’

‘They provide advice and guidance tailored to the needs of the client and not the boiler-plate solutions provided by some. Different individuals have different strengths and it is the team’s ability to bring the right people in at the right time that makes them stand out.’

Key clients

Bet365

Flutter (Sky Bet, Paddy Power)

William Hill

Sazka Group

BetBull

888

Better Collective

Gamesys

Hong Kong Jockey Club

Arsenal FC

Work highlights

  • Advising Sazka Group on its application for the fourth UK National Lottery Licence.
  • Advising BetBull on numerous commercial and regulatory matters, including the acquisition of the Wager business, gambling regulatory and tax issues, data protection, and the migration of BetBull’s UK and international white label services to operating its own services under its own British and Malta licences.
  • Advised Better Collective A/S on its acquisition of Atemi Limited for circa €44m.

CMS

The 'unquestionably expert' team at CMS covers a broad spread of work in the betting and gaming sector, ranging from commercial and regulatory issues to large-scale M&A, tax, IP and data protection matters, as well as litigation. The multidisciplinary practice is particularly experienced in Gambling Commission investigations, as well as in cross-border transactions and disputes, thanks to the global firm's international network. The team stands out for its expertise in the remote gambling sector, although its extensive client list includes land-based and online gambling operators, key media players such as broadcasters, advertisers and publishers, and games suppliers and platform providers. At the head of the practice, the 'standout' David Zeffman handles transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. Other key team members are Anna Soilleux-Mills and senior associate Alasdair Lamb, who focus on regulatory and commercial matters, and litigation partner Tamsin Blow, who is noted for her strength in regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

David Zeffman

Other key lawyers:

Anna Soilleux-Mills; Robert Willis; Stephen Hignett; Dan Tench; Tamsin Blow; Alasdair Lamb

Testimonials

‘David Zeffman is top of the game in the gambling law context. He is at the forefront of gambling industry developments. Alasdair Lamb is very able support.’

‘Reliable and well-informed about our business.’

‘Alasdair Lamb is an excellent lawyer, with great attention to detail.’

‘The team are unquestionably expert across the global gaming and igaming practice, with partners and associates who have worked on transactions of all types, size and geographies.’

‘David Zeffman and Dan Tench stand out for their knowledge and connections in the industry.’

‘CMS have a large team, which means they can easily cover issues which go beyond the gaming and betting setting – for example we have worked with the team on issues that have also covered corporate, tax, financial services (spread betting) and data protection.’

‘Due its sheer size and geographic reach this firm can draw on a breadth and level of expertise unlike any other any other working in the gambling industry. Cross-border collaboration is in the firm’s DNA.’

‘David Zeffman is the standout partner: understated but shrewd and with a lifetime of experience advising gambling industry stakeholders. Anna Soilleux-Mills is sharp and a pleasure to deal with. Stephen Hignett is an outstanding tax partner with great knowledge of the gambling industry.’

Key clients

888 Holdings plc

Anzo Group

AsianLogic

BetFred

Blueprint Gaming

Bragg Gaming

Gamesys Group plc

Geocomply

Hong Kong Jockey Club

IMG Arena

LiveScore

Lottoland

Pragmatic Play

Rank Group Plc (Rank)

Roxor Gaming

Royal Panda Limited

SkillOnNet

Sporting Index

Sports Information Services Limited (SIS)

Spreadex

Starting Price Regulatory Commission

Voidbridge

White Hat Gaming

William Hill plc

XL Media plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendant, Sports Information Services Limited (SIS), in a complex case relating to the creation and provision of horse racing betting odds and other data relating to horse races at the racecourses of the second claimant, Arena Leisure Limited.
  • Advising 888 on all aspects of UK gambling regulatory compliance issues, especially in relation to its safer gambling and anti-money laundering policies and procedures, and regularly advising 888 on compliance with advertising codes, consumer law and data protection law.
  • Advising several operators on licence reviews and other enforcement action taken against them by the Gambling Commission.

Harris Hagan

The 'extremely reputable' Harris Hagan is dedicated to licensing and regulatory matters in the gambling industry. It counts a vast range of land-based and online gambling operators and suppliers, start-ups, government entities and trade associations among its clients. The firm is also called upon by international law firms, private equity firms and banks, among others, to provide specialist advice on corporate transactions and investments. The team is highly skilled in advising on Gambling Commission compliance, enforcement investigations and licence reviews for both businesses and senior executives, as well as applications for remote and non-remote operating licences, and offers extensive compliance training. In addition, the firm has expanded its practice to assist clients with high-profile corporate transactions in the gambling sector. With 'unparalleled experience' in the betting and gaming space, senior partner Julian Harris and managing partner John Hagan jointly lead the practice. The 'supremely well-informed' team also includes Bahar Alaeddini and consultant Hilary Stewart-Jones.

Practice head(s):

Julian Harris; John Hagan

Other key lawyers:

Bahar Alaeddini; Hilary Stewart-Jones; David Whyte; Francesca Burnett-Hall

Testimonials

‘Harris Hagan is an extremely reputable firm within the gambling industry. The whole team is very solid in their practice. Probably the most significant difference with other firms is the fact that Harris Hagan does both online and terrestrial gambling, while most law firms with expertise in the gambling sector do one or the other.’

‘Julian Harris and John Hagan are considered as top professionals and their experience in this sector is simply unparalleled.’

‘Easily accessible, knowledgeable and have their finger on the pulse of the latest developments. Always keen to share thoughts and highly professional.’

‘Harris Hagan is highly skilled, supremely well informed about the sector, always responsive and with a consummate ability to translate regulation into effective advice. It is able to offer a comprehensive service to clients in the sector; its experience in wider governance areas enables it to recommend tailor-made solutions for its clients, reflecting internal resource and other key drivers. The firm is very proactive, very easy to deal with and closely aligned to its clients’ needs.’

‘The team had an extremely in-depth knowledge of the regulations and were invaluable in helping us to construct effective procedures and policies to ensure we remained compliant with the changing regulations. The team also had a fantastic knowledge of how the UK Gambling Commission worked, and helped us to present our business in the best possible light.’

‘Harris Hagan is a super firm to work with. They have the best lawyers who are at the highest academic level and at the same time business-oriented, thus you get solutions that are very efficient. They have a second-to-none global network of the best gaming and gambling lawyers and can thus provide first-class advice around the globe.’

‘John Hagan and Bahar Alaeddini are very good lawyers with a remarkable knowledge of the gaming and gambling market, as well as operators, platforms and payment providers and affiliates. They have an impressive international network. They both have a great sense of humour and keep a clear mind in situations with a lot of pressure.’

‘Harris Hagan really get to know their clients and provide much-welcomed advice which is both straightforward and clear. This is refreshing due to the increasingly complicated legislative environment of gambling. Bahar Alaeddini stands out as an highly intellectual lawyer at the top of her profession who deals with her clients in a an easy manner.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on numerous operating licence reviews, including for high-profile online and land-based operators.
  • Advising on personal licence reviews for senior executives in the gambling industry, including advising on and preparing detailed representations to the Commission’s findings, mitigation, and advising on and preparing detailed representations on sanctions.
  • Advising a potential bidder for the Fourth National Lottery Licence on the potential structure of the competition and other matters.

Ince

Ince's team is 'incredibly knowledgeable' about regulatory and commercial issues in the betting and gaming sector, with particularly significant expertise in the remote gaming space. The team acts for land-based and remote operators, including both start-ups and major players, advising on Gambling Commission applications, licence reviews, exempt gaming activity and general compliance issues, as well as a variety of commercial contracts. Under the InceSight brand, it is also producing an international gaming digital regulatory library to provide clients with regulatory and licensing reports on key gaming jurisdictions. In addition, the gambling team can draw on the support of the firm's corporate, M&A, banking and employment practices. Philip Somarakis and Andrew Cotton, who specialise in licensing matters, are the key contacts in London, while Gibraltar-based Andrew Tait advises on gambling regulation and compliance and commercial contracts. Alex Ktorides is also highly experienced in regulatory matters, advising on anti-money laundering, sanctions and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Philip Somarakis; Andrew Tait

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Cotton; Alex Ktorides; Kunal Budhrani

Testimonials

‘The team are incredibly flexible and knowledgeable. This has allowed us when required to pivot the business priorities quickly with the help of the team.’

‘They take the time to understand your goals and priorities.’

‘The firm has an unusually high degree of insight into the practices and policies required by the Gambling Commission as regards compliance with its own requirements and conditions – particularly Andrew Tait, derived from his previous in-house experience.’

‘Andrew Tait is the best choice for our company. His experience plays an important role, as well as his excellent contacts in the igaming industry.’

Key clients

Genesis Global Ltd

Hard Rock CC London Limited

Seminole Hard Rock International LLC

Synot Games Limited

Relax Holdings Ltd

Lottoland Services Limited

Blueprint Technologies Ltd

Lazinco Technologies Ltd

International Multi Media Entertainments Ltd

Corinne Nicole Phan

OPTIBET SIA (known as ENLABS)

Phisana Digital Health Technologies

Casumo

Realistic

Westcasino

CSB Malta

Trade Record Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Hard Rock CC London Limited on the acquisition of the casino licence and customer database for the former Ritz Club in London, and submitting the licence applications to Westminster City Council, including relocation of the casino licence to part of the basement of the Hard Rock Café in Piccadilly.
  • Advised Synot Games Limited on securing the grant of a remote gambling software and casino game host licence for the supply of remote casino games to the UK market, including advice on the completion of a software licensing agreement and ongoing compliance with Gambling Commission licence conditions and codes of practice and remote technical standards.
  • Advised Genesis Global on the suspension of its operating licence by the Gambling Commission, resulting in the lifting of the suspension in under three months.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP's 'really knowledgeable, industry-focused' team advises on a wide range of betting and gaming matters, with extensive expertise in licensing, regulatory and compliance issues, as well as high-value corporate acquisitions, data protection, IP and litigation. In the regulatory sphere, key areas of strength include licence applications, compliance audits and Gambling Commission enforcement proceedings. In addition, the multidisciplinary team provides its diverse client base of gambling operators and affiliated marketing, games and software platform providers with assistance in complex M&A and reorganisations, commercial contracts and data breach incidents, among other areas. 'Outstanding' practice head Nick Nocton specialises in gambling regulatory and enforcement matters. Among the other notable team members, Susan Breen focuses on corporate transactions for gaming sector clients, with particular expertise in migration planning, Stuart McMaster handles corporate matters with an emphasis on data protection, and Niki Stephens is highly experienced in regulatory, compliance and commercial issues.

Practice head(s):

Nick Nocton

Other key lawyers:

Susan Breen; Niki Stephens; Stuart McMaster; Guy Wilkes; Gemma Boore

Testimonials

‘The team possess a unique, specialist skill set that complements the eGaming industry perfectly, so we know we can call upon them to assist with core services that are relevant to global entertainment and media businesses. They are experienced in working with regulators and governments at the highest levels. Their industry knowledge is extensive, both in the UK and internationally.’

‘The individuals we have worked with in the Mishcon team really understand the industry and its mindset (both from a commercial and regulatory standpoint). Susan Breen takes a commercial approach and is completely aligned with clients’ objectives. Strong personal relationships are a feature of her client focus.’

‘The regulatory skill sets of the betting and gaming team support not only gambling operators but also affiliated businesses, which require a wider set of regulatory skills than just pure licensing regulation advice. The group also provides seamless integrated services on IP protection, brands management, data protection, tech agreements and cyber services.’

‘Susan Breen has strong insights and commercial instincts and is an incredibly knowledgeable and able corporate and regulatory lawyer in the gaming space; she has deep personal investment in our success as a business and superb relationship management. Niki Stephens is a great regulatory and corporate lawyer who works in tandem with us and is aligned to our every need.’

‘This firm offers an exceptional cocktail of people and expertise particularly well suited for clients in the gambling industry. Responsiveness, quality and insight are simply top.’

‘Nick Nocton is an outstanding regulatory and licensing lawyer. Susan Breen bring tons of corporate and deal experience to the table. Stuart McMaster is a data protection guru. Niki Stephens is sharp, tireless, and a pleasure to deal with. All the partners we’ve ever dealt with at this firm are incredibly good lawyers – they are hardworking and will fight the client’s corner, giving all they’ve got. They’re also all excellent communicators.’

‘They are a really knowledgeable, industry-focused team who can deliver fast and very user-friendly advice. I can rely on Susan Breen and other team members for to-the-point and excellent legal counsel. I see them as top of their game for regulatory and commercial advice with a strong corporate transactional practice group.’

‘We have worked with Susan Breen and her gambling team for many years and I value her commercial insights, knowledge of the gaming industry and ability to provide strategic as well as legal support. She’s an adviser who gets straight to the point.’

Key clients

DraftKings

Gamesys Group plc

Entain plc (formerly GVC Holdings plc)

GAN plc

Fansunite Entertainment Inc.

Videoslots

Kambi plc

GSN Games

Catena Media plc

Betting & Gaming Council

Work highlights

  • Providing regulatory advice to the Betting and Gaming Council regarding the proposed launch of a multi-operator ‘single customer view’ scheme.
  • Advising DraftKings on a range of regulatory and commercial matters, including the $3.3bn merger between DraftKings and SBTech.
  • Advising Entain Plc on a range of regulatory and commercial matters.

Wiggin LLP

With 'unrivalled industry experience', Wiggin LLP's wide-ranging practice spans complex corporate, commercial and regulatory matters in the gambling sector. The team has extensive expertise in licensing, high-profile regulatory investigations and general compliance issues, in addition to advising key players in the sector on large-scale M&A, investment and restructuring transactions and commercial matters. Its impressive client base includes large remote and land-based gambling operators and platforms, software providers and payment processors, media and sports companies, and advertisers, among others. The practice is led by the 'outstanding' Jason Chess, a specialist in remote gambling matters, and Stephen Ketteley, who also focuses on advising online gambling operators, particularly in the i-gaming space. Other standout team members include David McLeish, who handles corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, and senior associate Chris Elliott, who is noted for his specialist expertise in commercial and regulatory issues in the online gambling sector.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Ketteley; Jason Chess

Other key lawyers:

David McLeish; Ben Whitelock; Jason Fisher; Chris Elliott

Testimonials

‘Personalised service, very good industry knowledge.’

‘Jason Chess is outstanding.’

‘The team has a roster of individuals with unrivalled industry experience. It is a pleasure to work with Wiggin – they are, without question, the leaders in the field of gambling regulatory advice. I would not work with anyone else.’

‘Standout team members include Steve Ketteley, David McLeish and Chris Elliott. Each provides commercial and practical advice that is easily digestible for the business – no matter how complex the issue. A fantastic team and an expert is always available to assist.’

‘David McLeish is really excellent.’

Key clients

Flutter Entertainment (including The Stars Group, Sky Bet, Paddy Power and Betfair)

bet365

Playtech

William Hill

Worldpay

Entain (including Ladbrokes and Coral)

LeoVegas

Evolution Gaming (including NetEnt)

Gamesys Group (including Jackpotjoy)

Betsson

Work highlights

  • Advising Entain (the owner of, among others, Ladbrokes and Coral) on various regulatory, corporate, commercial, litigation and advertising matters.
  • Advising Betway on various litigation and regulatory matters, including taking the lead role on a regulatory investigation by the Gambling Commission into historic anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings in the business.
  • Advising the Stars Group on, among other matters, domestic and international licensing and compliance issues, advertising and marketing, customer terms and conditions, and contractual negotiations relating to technology procurement, acquisition and new market entries.

Memery Crystal LLP

Memery Crystal LLP acts for a wide range of leading names in the casino, lottery, sports and media industries, among others. It is well versed in gambling regulatory and commercial matters, including advice on licence applications, sponsorship agreements and data protection issues in the sector. To support the practice, the firm has launched a Gambling Crisis product designed to deal with complaints raised against gambling operators. The team is also noted for its strength in corporate matters, and is often called upon to provide specialist gambling advice on large-scale M&A transactions, as well as assisting in gaming and betting-related disputes. Highlighted for his 'encyclopaedic knowledge of the gambling sector', Carl Rohsler leads the practice. Firm chairman Lesley Gregory handles M&A and capital markets matters for gambling clients.

Practice head(s):

Carl Rohsler

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Gregory; Jonathan Riley

Testimonials

‘Carl Rohsler is an expert in gambling regulation and IP law.’

‘Carl Rohsler is able to advise and work on regulation and litigation within the sector with great knowledge of IP law. This has been very useful for conversations with the regulator, commercial contracts, M&A and litigation.’

‘The service we continue to receive is of the very highest standard and delivered in a timely manner.’

‘Carl Rohsler has been associated with our business since its inception. He therefore has a detailed working knowledge of our structure, products and challenges. He is intelligent and personable with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the gambling sector.’

Key clients

The Health Lottery

888.com

Scottish TV Group

Telegraph Media Group

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

Fulham FC

Annexio (LottoGo)

Union Jaxx

Avantage Entertainment

Buzz Bingo

Goldchip Gaming

Metric Gaming

Meridian Bet

Aston Villa FC

Fremantle Media

DS Virtual Gaming

GAN Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Gaming Realms on a wide range of corporate, commercial and IP matters, as well as a suite of litigation against a rival company involving two cases in the Commercial Court.
  • Advised Avantage Entertainment in relation to the development of its business in the UK market with an application for a UK pool betting and casino licence, as well as assisting with international opinions on the legality of pool betting in more than ten jurisdictions.
  • Advised The Health Lottery on a wide range of commercial and wider strategic matters, including in relation to its commercial arrangements with DragonFish, LottoMatrix and on the change of control required for the disposal of the business to a third party.

Northridge Law LLP

The 'excellent' betting and gaming practice at Northridge Law LLP combines significant regulatory expertise with experience in commercial, employment and dispute resolution matters. The impressive client roster includes major gambling operators and games developers, particularly in the online gambling space. The team is also able to draw on the firm's market-leading sports practice to advise on betting integrity, sports data rights and sponsorship arrangements. The 'very knowledgeable' Melanie Ellis is skilled in gambling regulatory and compliance matters, including licensing, advertising and anti-money laundering procedures. Associate Tom Edmonds is also experienced in regulatory and commercial issues. Another key contact is Jon Walters, who focuses on corporate and commercial mandates in the sports and gaming sectors.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Tom Edmonds; Jon Walters; Jamie Feldman

Testimonials

‘Practical, focused and commercial legal advice. Listens to what the client needs and very much adapts to meet that. An excellent firm to work with.’

‘Melanie Ellis takes a pragmatic, risk-based approach. She is personable, relatable and very knowledgeable about her area. Willing to go the extra mile to achieve client satisfaction.’

‘Melanie is always helpful, available and able to assist with current issues. She wants to understand the complete picture before coming up with a suggestion.’

‘Melanie Ellis has stood by us through the turmoil in the gaming industry and always had good solutions and suggestions at hand.’

‘Northridge have a good understanding of our sector and are all very personable. We have found Northridge to be willing to take our position as a start-up into account and offer more flexibility than we would expect from a firm of its size. All of the partners we have dealt with have been very engaged with our company and have tried hard to give us the guidance that a new company needs.’

‘Melanie Ellis is very knowledgeable and professional, but particularly strong at adding a good practical approach and understanding of the needs – and operations – of gambling operators. She is always helpful in finding practical solutions.’

Key clients

Flutter (previously known as Paddy Power Betfair)

Genius Sports

Betway

BRS Golf (part of the NBC Entertainment Group)

Funder

Banach

Evolution Gaming

Run It Once Poker

Work highlights

  • Advised NetEnt on gambling licensing and compliance matters and, following its takeover by Evolution Gaming, advised on the change of corporate control and licensing of the expanded group.
  • Advised Betway on a wide range of sponsorship deals, including its recent expansion into high-profile US sports such as the NBA and NHL.
  • Advised BRS Golf (part of the NBC Entertainment Group) on a range of gambling licensing and advertising requirements in relation to its new ‘Golf Now’ app.

Pinsent Masons LLP

With 'broad experience' in the betting and gaming sector, Pinsent Masons LLP has a wide-ranging practice, advising on licensing and regulatory compliance, corporate transactions, high-profile disputes, and commercial, IP and technology issues. The team has expertise in both remote and land-based gambling, advising large gambling operators and software suppliers. With the support of its UK and international offices, the firm is well placed to advise on multijurisdictional transactions and regulatory issues. London-based partner Diane Mullenex leads the firm's global gambling and gaming practice, with particular expertise in the French market, and is experienced in advising major gambling operators on international transactions. In addition, UK licensing head Audrey Ferrie, who is based in Glasgow, specialises in regulatory and compliance issues in the gambling sector, and Gareth Jones in London handles M&A and corporate finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Diane Mullenex

Other key lawyers:

Audrey Ferrie; Gareth Jones; Chris Rees-Gay; Rémi Bresson Auba; Annabelle Richard

Testimonials

‘Pinsent Masons has a unique combination of tech knowledge, covering everything from IT to IP and gaming and gambling. This broad experience makes it possible to provide advice covering all aspects of IT and gaming. This fact and its international reach make the firm unique.’

‘Diane Mullenex has a unique position when it comes to handling international licensing, gaming and betting matters. She benefits from her very high level of legal expertise and combines it with her international background and training and extended international network. She is thus a master of managing complex international matters and she gets things done and people to agree. That is a unique skill.’

‘Annabelle Richard benefits from being a dual-qualified French avocat à la cour in Paris and attorney at law admitted to the New York State Bar. Annabelle holds down the fort for Diane. She is a super lawyer and very pleasant to work with. She and Diane make an exceptional team.’

Poppleston Allen

Nottingham-based firm Poppleston Allen specialises in licensing and has considerable expertise in the betting and gaming sector, advising major gambling operators and suppliers in the land-based and online gambling spaces. Nick Arron, who is the lead partner in the 'knowledgeable' betting and gaming team, has a particular strength in acting for web-based operations.

Testimonials

‘A knowledgeable team of subject matter experts. They are approachable and always go over and above to support their clients.’

‘They take time to really understand your business and offer practical advice.’

‘Extremely good at understanding the operational needs of their clients.’

‘Professional, knowledgeable and extremely personable, which helps with their relationships both internally within our business and with other stakeholders.’

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's betting and gaming practice is highly skilled in licensing and regulatory enforcement issues, and its strengths also extend to covering a wide range of corporate, commercial, technology, IP and disputes matters, among others. The team acts for large leisure operators, software developers and gambling platforms, payment processing companies, and gaming machine manufacturers and arcades. It has particular expertise in advising on the licensing of large developments, as well as in high-profile judicial reviews. Craig Baylis heads up the regulatory practice group, advising on both land-based and online gambling issues. Associate director Jeremy Bark is highly experienced in licensing and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Craig Baylis

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Bark; Ben Lee; Chris Bryant

Key clients

Hippodrome

Deloitte Legal

The betting and gaming practice at Deloitte Legal - which merged with Kemp Little in February 2021 - focuses on remote gambling, working closely with the fintech, regtech and digital advertising teams to advise clients in the gambling sector on commercial issues and regulatory compliance. The team has particular expertise in advising on competitions and draws, ensuring that they do not fall under gambling regulation. Director Susan Biddle is the lead for gambling matters, with an emphasis on advising tech-based companies at the interface of gambling and games. Paul Hinton leads the wider commercial technology practice.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hinton; Susan Biddle

Other key lawyers:

Calum Murray; Jacob Ghanty; Chris Hill; Rupam Davé

Key clients

Property Prizes Limited

SKW Schwarz for Hugo Boss

Monese Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Property Prizes Limited on a variety of matters as it moves towards the launch of its online skill game, offering winners residential property and real money prizes.
  • Advising German law firm SKW Schwarz in relation to promotional campaigns for the benefit of its client, Hugo Boss, including in relation to proposed sweepstake promotions.

Fladgate LLP

At Fladgate LLP, transactional work in the betting and gaming space is the main focus of the practice. The team is particularly skilled in corporate and real estate matters, often with a cross-border element. Acting for large bricks-and-mortar gambling operators, as well as emerging companies in the online space, the team advises on M&A, equity fundraising rounds, joint ventures and other investment matters, in addition to assisting with commercial and regulatory issues. Grant Gordon, who specialises in M&A and equity capital markets work, leads the practice. Other key contacts include corporate partners Nigel Gordon and Jamie Hamilton, and competition, regulatory and commercial partner Alex Haffner.

Practice head(s):

Grant Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Gordon; Stephen Lewis; Eddie Powell; Alex Haffner; Jamie Hamilton

Key clients

The shareholders of Red Tiger Gaming Limited

Playzido Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the minority shareholders of Red Tiger Gaming Limited on the sale of NetEnt to Evolution Gaming.
  • Advised Playzido on its successful EIS-qualifying equity fundraising round involving 11 new investors.

Hugh James

Cardiff-based firm Hugh James is highly experienced in licensing and regulatory compliance in both the online and land-based gambling sectors, with additional expertise in related corporate, commercial, IP and disputes matters. The team is noted for its strength in the sports betting and licensing space, and for its skill in advising international gambling clients on complex M&A and IP matters. Clients include land-based operators and online gaming companies. Aled Walters, who heads the commercial team, leads the practice, and is experienced in licensing, commercial, corporate and IP matters in the gaming sector. Martin Jones heads the regulatory department and focuses on licensing issues.

Practice head(s):

Aled Walters

Other key lawyers:

Martin Jones

Key clients

TCS John Huxley

Double Diamond Gaming (Rainbow Casino)

Novomatic UK Limited

Amelco

Eurobet

Depot Warehouse Limited

Raffle House Limited

Flying Laptops Productions Limited

7 Days Performance Limited

Luxury Leisure (part of the Novomatic Group of Companies)

Greentube

Btobet

Work highlights

  • Advised Btobet on its acquisition by Aspire.
  • Advised Luxury Leisure (part of the Novomatic Group of Companies) on the acquisition of amusement arcades.
  • Advising Raffle House on a variety of issues, including a successful arbitration arising out of a challenge based on the alleged applicability of the Estate Agency Act 1979, and a significant change to its model.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law excels in advising online and land-based gambling operators on licensing and regulatory matters, in addition to assisting with corporate transactions, commercial agreements, debt recovery and data protection issues. The team advises a broad spread of casinos, betting shops, online gambling platforms and software providers. Among the key contacts, Richard Williams has extensive experience of assisting with licence applications and reviews, and anti-money laundering and social responsibility issues, and is particularly noted for his strength in advising competition operators on regulatory matters. Niall McCann also brings his expertise in alcohol and gaming licensing to bear in land-based gambling transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Williams; Niall McCann; Lara Robson; Stephen Rodd; Simon Holden; Jimmy Desai; Meriel Pymont

Testimonials

‘Keystone have always been prompt in responding to our queries, and the expertise their firm has enables us to be guided by them to find the most appropriate outcome for our business.’

‘Richard Williams is an expert in gambling-related matters. He is not only knowledgeable but understanding of our business, and tailors that knowledge to ensure we are getting the best outcome.’

‘Meriel Pymont has expertise in data protection and privacy. She provides guidance to us that gives us a commercial outcome which we are very happy with.’

Key clients

Hunch Sports Ltd

Pariplay Limited

Zulko Gaming Limited

Papaya Gaming Limited

Jumbo Interactive Limited

Electoolsaway Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Hunch Sports Ltd on anti-money laundering procedures, social responsibility, banking, payment providers and all aspects of applying for an operating licence.
  • Advised Papaya Gaming Limited on the categorisation of its games under UK gambling legislation and making an application to the Gambling Commission for a remote casino operating licence to allow it to launch those games.
  • Advised Jumbo Interactive Limited on its acquisition of Gatherwell Limited, an external lottery manager based in the UK.

RPC

RPC's 'excellent' betting and gaming team has particular strength in the sports and esports space, advising an impressive client base of sports betting brands, social media platforms and sports data content providers on a wide range of regulatory, commercial, IP, data and disputes matters. Jeremy Drew, who heads up the firm's gaming and betting group, is particularly active in contentious matters, but advises on a variety of licensing, sponsorship and sports data issues. He receives strong support from senior associate Joshua Charalambous, who has considerable expertise in inter-connected sports, betting and video gaming matters. Other key contacts include commercial contracts and technology licensing specialist Paul Joukador.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Drew; Josh Charalambous

Other key lawyers:

Paul Joukadour; Oliver Bray; Paul Joseph

Testimonials

‘The gaming team at RPC are excellent, with a solid client focus and sector-specialist knowledge.’

‘They know when to take the initiative and demonstrated good positive team spirit even in the midst of heavy and stressful litigation when others would have suffered a sense of humour failure.’

Key clients

Flutter Entertainment (owner of PaddyPower Betfair)

LeoVegas

BetConstruct

VBet

FeedConstruct

Work highlights

  • Acting for Soft Construct in relation to High Court proceedings brought by Genius Sports concerning live sports data.
  • Advising a leading esports platform provider on gambling licensing requirements for free to play watch-along prediction games for competitive gaming competitions.
  • Advising Game Digital in relation to the sale of the gaming arena BELONG brand to US esports business Vindex.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP's gambling practice advises on regulatory issues, as well as a range of corporate, commercial, data protection and technology matters in the sector. The firm draws upon its extensive international network to assist major brands in Europe and the US. Graham Hann leads the UK games and e-gaming group.