Gaming and betting in London
CMS advises on regulatory compliance and the obtaining of licences, and has expertise in online and new media technology. The firm also handles employment litigation and data protection matters in the gambling industry. Practice head David Zeffman is an expert in strategic transactions, while newly promoted partner Anna Soilleux-Mills advises on the commercial and regulatory aspects of M&A transactions in the gambling industry. Clients include gambling and betting companies as well as broadcasters, sports rights holders, publishers and advertisers.
Other key lawyers:
Best of the Best
GVC Group (including Ladbrokes Coral)
Hong Kong Jockey Club
Intellectual Property & Software, European Domain Management and Rocket 9
Les Ambassadeurs Club
Sports Information Services
Stride Games PLC
The Starting Price Regulatory Commission
White Hat Gaming
- Advised online gambling company the Rank Group on the acquisition of the entire €52m issued share capital of QBS Gaming
- Advised online gambling company BGO Entertainment on the negotiation and successful agreement of undertakings with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
- Advising online gambling company Gamesys on the entry into various commercial agreements
- Advised Intellectual Property and Software on the £65m sale of European Domain Management and Rocket 9 to LeoVegas
- Advised Apax Partners on its acquisition of Genius Sports Group
Harris Hagan advises on operating licence applications, M&A, due diligence, affiliate marketing and sponsorship agreements. The 'astute’ John Hagan and the ‘highly experienced’ Julian Harris head the practice and specialise in gambling and licensing law, as well as on online and land-based gambling law. The ‘exceptional and creative’ Bahar Alaeddini advises start-ups, private equity firms and banks on corporate control applications, investor due diligence and the restructuring of group licences. The team was bolstered by the arrival of consultant Hilary Stewart-Jones from DLA Piper in May 2018.
Julian Harris; John Hagan
‘The firm has first-class experience and knowledge in this industry’
‘The team understands the issues clients typically face and always provides solutions’
‘The firm pleases with its professionalism and is invested in the client’s success’
‘The firm is technical and energetic, while simultaneously having a deep understanding of the industry’
Mishcon de Reya LLP has expertise in M&A transactions, gambling licensing regulations and defending regulatory enforcement proceedings. The practice is experienced in drafting and negotiating commercial gambling and platform contracts, and in advising on anti-money laundering procedures and data protection measures. Nick Nocton advises on eSports and virtual currencies, while practice head Susan Breen assists with migration plans for the transfer of businesses across different jurisdictions. Niki Stephens, who was promoted to partner in April 2019, advises on enforcement actions by the Gambling Commission.
‘They have the ability to work together as a true team and provide a seamless, consolidated approach’
‘The practice is proactive, polite, knowledgeable and determined to fully understand technicalities before forming a response’
‘Stuart McMaster provided pragmatic and practical advice in a manner which maintained fees and costs at an acceptable level.’
‘Susan Breen and Niki Stephens are a killer combination. They really care about their clients but are also very good and cut to the chase of the issues.’
‘Susan Breen has the secret sauce to being an outstanding lawyer, she is personable, unique and clients adore her. She pragmatic, commercially sharp, doesn’t get bogged down with problems but is solutions focused.’
Gaming Innovation Group
Red Tiger Gaming
- Advising DraftKing on regulatory and compliance matters
- Advising Videoslots on licensing and compliance matters
- Advising Ladbrokes Coral Group on the defence of two claims brought by the operators of the Arena Leisure horse racing courses and the chosen partners to distribute audio-visual footages of races from those courses
- Advised Catena Media on the acquisition of the horse racing site gg.co.uk
Wiggin LLP has expertise in providing regulatory, corporate and commercial advice, which involves assistance with regulatory investigations and international risk strategies, ongoing advice on compliance and licensing, assistance with M&A transactions and business-to-business arrangements, and advice on advertisement contracts. The team regularly represents clients from the betting, poker, casino, lottery, media and sports sectors, while Stephen Ketteley, who co-heads the practice with Jason Chess, is particularly active for clients from the online gambling sector.
Stephen Ketteley; Jason Chess
Other key lawyers:
David McLeish; Chris Elliott
‘This is probably the best all-round gambling and betting practice in the UK. The firm is responsive, astute and meticulous in its work’
‘Stephen Ketteley has a true passion for the industry and intimate knowledge of British regulations in this area, as well as a deep understanding of how the industry works internationally’
‘Jason Chess is a very well-respected senior figure’
‘Stephen Ketteley and Jason Chess provide a speedy high-quality service’
‘David McLeish has a wealth of industry experience from his time as a GC in the sector, which gives him a unique insight on how commercial and risk decision-making really gets done, driving pragmatic and focused advice’
‘Chris Elliott is fantastically knowledgeable of the regulatory issues facing the industry. An upcoming star’
The Stars Group
- Advised Ladbrokes Coral on the undertaking of due diligence and the co-ordination of gambling regulatory approvals in connection with its public takeover by GVC Holdings.
- Advised William Hill on a regulatory investigation by the Gambling Commission, which resulted in the client paying a £6.2m penalty package.
- Advised William Hill on the £250m takeover of online casino operator Mr Green.
- Advised Casumo on a regulatory investigation resulting in a £5.85m penalty package.
- Advised Playtech on an investigation by the CMA regarding bonus promotions and the accessibility of customer funds.
Bird & Bird LLP provides gambling and betting regulatory advice and assists with the advertising of gambling and the establishment of commercial relationships between the sports and gambling industries, as well as with content streaming, software supply and payment processing deals. The firm is also experienced in technology transfer, data protection and intellectual property work. Andrew Danson regularly advises on online gambling regulations, and senior associate Elizabeth Dunn has expertise in software supply, content streaming and hosting.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have worked with Andrew Danson and Elizabeth Dunn at Bird & Bird and they have been very responsive, commercial and pragmatic and a pleasure to work with. We found it particularly helpful that they were able to come in a brief our commercial colleagues in a way that was accessible and grounded in practical examples and experience to take the advice beyond the theoretical.’
The Stronach Group
- Advising Zeal Group on regulatory issues and the negotiation of commercial agreements
- Advised GVC on the £42m acquisition of Crystalbet
- Advising Gamesys on its relationship with various game providers, including NetEnt and Scientific Games
- Advised Sky Bet on the five-year renewal of its naming rights sponsorship agreement with the English Football League
- Acting for The Stronach Group on agreements in relation to its international media and wagering rights business for North American horse racing, including licensing agreements with Sky Bet, BoyleSports and 188Bet
Ince provides regulatory and commercial advice in the gambling sector, including assisting with domestic and cross-border licensing queries, criminal proceedings and the defence of licences. The practice is also experienced in advising on sponsorship contracts and trade mark and domain name protection, as well as on corporate structuring. Alex Ktorides advises on the implementation of measures to comply with anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption legislation. Andrew Cotton advises on advertisement regulations and assists overseas-based remote operators and software suppliers with their applications for operating licences from the Gambling Commission. Andrew Tait relocated to the firm's Gibraltar office.
Billion Dollar Draw
- Advised Genesis Global on a gambling regulatory compliance assessment regarding UK and Maltese regulatory requirements
- Advising Nektan on the drafting of gambling software licenses for an array of suppliers and customers of the client, which involves regulatory advice and company restructuring
Kemp Little LLP
Kemp Little LLP specialises in online and mobile gambling, providing advice on the development of micro-payments and premium rate services, in-app purchases and digital currencies, as well as on software development and licensing. The practice also advises on regulated financial services, including spread bets and advice on the payment services arrangements that underpin the gambling industry. Promotional competitions and prize draws are another area of expertise. Practice head Susan Biddle focuses on gambling regulated by the Gambling Commission.
‘The practice is unique in the sense that it makes a large quantity of standard help available without charging for it. Additionally, there is always someone available who has deep knowledge of the particular case’
‘The team stands out with its breath of knowledge, both historical and current, its personal approach and its understanding of the client market’
Property Prizes Limited
SKW Schwarz for Hugo Boss
- Advised Gamblewise on commercial contracts and data protection in relation to a mobile product to help gamblers control the time spent on gambling
- Advising Property Prizes on the structuring, operation and promotion of its proposed skill competitions that offer a series of residential properties as prizes
- Advised lawyers of SKW Schwarz in relation to several promotional campaigns for the benefit of SKW Schwarz’ client Hugo Boss
- Advised a gambling software company on issues relating to the development of technology
- Advised an advertisement company on the appropriate promotional mechanisms and legal aspects of competition
Memery Crystal LLP advises clients from the gambling and lotteries industries on market entry regulations and provides comparative regulatory advice regarding the applicable licensing regime across different jurisdictions. The firm is also experienced in advising on disputes in the gambling sector. The ‘charismatic and helpful’ Carl Rohsler heads the practice and has expertise in M&A transactions in the gambling industry.
‘The firm provides the very best advice’
‘Carl Rohsler has a charismatic personality with an encyclopaedic knowledge of gambling law and regulations ’
Scottish TV Group
Telegraph Media Group
Initial Rewards Limited
Roland de Wolfe
West Bromwich Albion FC
Aston Villa FC
- Advising Gaming Realms on the £11.5m sale of its business-to-customer focused subsidiary Bear Group to River iGaming
- Advising Health Lottery on government consultations on marketing regulations
- Advising Fulham FC on the advertising of gambling
- Advising Avantage Entertainment in relation to the development of its UK business with an application for a UK pool betting and casino licence
- Advising Telegraph Media Group on the development of its Fantasy Football product in strategic partnership with Coral
Pinsent Masons LLP provides regulatory advice to gambling sector clients and assists with strategic projects such as business expansions and financing, the introduction of new business-critical systems, relocations and strategically significant disputes. The firm also advises on M&A transactions, tax, employment, data privacy and pensions matters. The team assists online operators with cross-border transactions and is experienced in providing both contentious and non-contentious licensing advice. Diane Mullenex, who is noted for her particular expertise in the French gaming market, and Glasgow-based legal director Audrey Ferrie lead the practice.
Diane Mullenex; Audrey Ferrie
- Advised Cannaccord Genuity in connection with the transfer of the listing category of its entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital
- Advising Adil Group on licensing services for its estate across the UK, including its KFC and Taco Bell restaurant
- Advised Harrods on the obtainment of licences for extended restaurant hours
- Advised World Island on the securing of a premises licence for a new festival based in Leeds
- Advised Mint Festival for the obtainment of licences for the relocation of the festival
Nick Arron heads the practice at boutique licensing firm Poppleston Allen and advises bookmakers, bingo operators, family entertainment centres, gambling machine manufacturers and gambling centre arcades on licensing regulations. The practice also acts for online gambling operators and lotteries. The team is experienced in advising on compliance issues and also assists with regulatory negotiations with the Gambling Commission.
The Bingo Association
Bandai Namco Amusement Europe
Taylor Wessing LLP is experienced in advising domestic and cross-border clients in the spread betting industry and has expertise in binary bets, as well as in their interface with financial services regulatory issues. The practice also advises gambling start-ups on the obtainment of licences and provides regulatory advice on their business models, and advises unregulated clients in the gambling industry on regulatory issues, digital media, promotional activities and licensing projects. Other aspects of the team’s work include contractual advice and assistance with data privacy and intellectual property. Practice head Graham Hann has extensive experience in eGaming.
bwin.party digital entertainment
- Advising online gambling brands owner Amaya on trade mark, copyright and design disputes
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles the licensing and regulatory aspects of both online and offline gambling, and regularly assists with the application for new licences. The firm also has expertise in online gambling issues, which involves assistance with the regulatory and corporate aspects of online business models; advises on contentious gambling matters; and assists clients in relation to enforcement investigations by the Gambling Commission. Practice head Craig Baylis has particular experience with licensing issues.
- Advising PT Entertainment in relation to an enforcement investigation by the CMA into a number of operators in the online gaming industry
- Advising The Hippodrome on applications regarding its premises
- Advised Playtech on its €846m acquisition of approximately 70% of the issued share capital of gaming operator Snaitech
- Advising Luxury Leisure on the obtainment of a premises licence for an adult gaming centre in Norwich
- Advised digital performance marketing company XLMedia on its placing of new ordinary shares worth £31.7m
DLA Piper provides regulatory advice in the gambling, betting and media sectors. The firm is also experienced in assisting with licensing agreements, commercial contracts, litigation matters and tax-related issues. Nick Fitzpatrick acts as the global co-chair for the media, sports and entertainment sector and advises on advertisement in the gambling and betting sector. Hilary Stewart-Jones left the practice in June 2018 to join Harris Hagan as a consultant.
Fladgate LLP assists with corporate structuring in the gambling industry as well as with licensing matters. The firm is also experienced in advising on tax matters, gambling disputes, and software development and provision. The practice is led by Grant Gordon, who has expertise in advising on the regulatory issues arising in due diligence processes, and the appropriate warranties to ensure gambling law compliance within corporate transactions.
Red Tiger Gaming
NGV Intergalactic Software
- Advising Red Tiger Gaming on negotiations with Ladbrokes Coral Group regarding the client’s bonus and jackpots platform
- Advising Red Tiger Gaming on revised and renegotiated template agreements, including the client’s operator agreements and reseller agreements
- Advised a gambling operator on the setting up of a corporate structure to facilitate the client’s entry into the EU
- Advised a gambling company on the re-gear of its lease at a shopping centre
- Advised shareholders of a gambling company on an M&A transaction in the digital bingo business
Hugh James handles both online and land-based gambling matters, with a particular technical expertise within sports betting and licensing. The firm also advises on anti-money laundering measures and dispute resolution, as well as regulations concerning software development and IT protection. Cardiff-based practice head Aled Walters has experience in advising high-profile gaming companies on corporate and commercial issues such as M&A transactions and on IP licensing.
Big Wave Gaming
Double Diamond Gaming
Rock ‘N Rolla Management
Guess the time
- Drafting and negotiating the licence of Amelco’s sports betting platform to Intralot
- Advising iBet Group on an application for a remote betting intermediary licence
- Advising Rock ‘N Rolla Management on an application for a remote casino licence
- Advised Eclipse Competitions on how its online competitions could be operated in compliance with the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005
- Advised ioSport Group on the obtainment of remote betting host and remote gambling software licences
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP advises on corporate, commercial, litigation, tax, real estate and competition law matters in the gambling industry. Practice head Warren Phelops is experienced in advising on the drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements, including white label, software licensing, hedging, technology supply and IP licensing contracts. Other areas of expertise include advice on sponsorship agreements and payment service provisions. The practice acts for both online and retail operators. Martin King was promoted to partner in March 2018.
Other key lawyers:
The Racing Partnership
Arena Racing Corporation
- Advised the Racing Partnership, Arena Leisure and Arena Racing Corporation as the claimants in High Court actions and related applications against bookmakers and betting stakeholders including Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred, The Tote and SIS
- Advising Arena Racing Corporation on the acquisition of media rights for horse racing and greyhound racing from various domestic and international rights holders
- Advising Cricket West Indies on contractual arrangements relating to the appointment of Betway as an official betting partner
Keystone Law boosted its practice with the recruitment of consultants Richard Williams and Niall McCann from Joelson in April 2019. The team advises both land-based and online gambling clients on regulatory compliance, anti-money laundering measures and prosecutions arising from breaches of licence conditions. The practice also assists with the drafting and improving of policies and procedures, and licence review proceedings, which regularly involve the negotiation of financial settlements. Another area of expertise is the provision of advice to social media companies about the legality of proposed offerings with or without the need for licensing.