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  • Writer's pictureVillanova Sports Law Blog

Corporate Law Firms Rolling the Dice on the Gambling Market

Updated: Feb 12

By Zac Candelaria:

Throughout the course of the last few weeks we have been able to engage in the evolving dynamics of legalized sports betting. Since the federal bill banning sports betting was struck down by the Supreme Court in May, we have seen a multitude of states that have been willing to try their luck with supporting a fair system of gambling. With the legalization of sports gambling, various third-party groups look to benefit from potential earnings in this industry. However, independent sports gambling organizations have stirred the pot by using qualified league data in order to set the stage for instant picks for their online users. In my last article, I focused on the issues of league data, specifically whether independent agencies should be paying for this information in order to appease their market. There are many legal duties to deal with as the sports gambling market becomes increasingly volatile between independent bookkeepers and executives of professional leagues.

Last week, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a global law firm, opened potential floodgates for law firms throughout the world to take their own gamble on the market.[1] The international law firm announced that they will be stepping into the gambling industry by handling compliance and regulation for independent agencies seeking their services.[2] The fight between professional league executives and independent gambling agencies has required a service for middle men such as large law firms to find a regulatory basis to control the market without ruining the integrity of the games that we routinely follow.

The gambling industry has a broad market that reaches worldwide. Due to technology and increased policy changes, lawyers are more willing now than ever to place their bets that their work will include negotiations and transactions between various groups. Corporate law firms, such as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, are focusing their efforts internationally; however, both Delaware and New York are key players in the industry. Delaware is well-known as the corporate hub and New York already has casinos that are willing to facilitate options for sports junkies looking to play the odds.[3] The gambling industry is seamlessly changing business plans and marketing strategies for many corporations. Some corporate transactional lawyers are looking to focus their efforts on negotiating deals with large hotels in various cities.

Many sports fans that are taking their chance in a newly regulated sports gambling system are taking trips to get the full experience. Hotel chains and private equity firms have noticed an increase in demand after a 26-year-old federal bill was struck down by the Supreme Court. As previously mentioned in my last article regarding the implications and issues that could arise from independent agencies taking control of the gambling market, other subsidiary groups are finding their own route to the action. Boyd Gaming Corporation and FanDuel Group are joining forces in order to leverage the competition against all other companies and technology services pursuing mobile gambling.[4] Since the bill was passed by the Supreme Court to regulate sports gambling, there has been a 51% increase of United States executives pursuing mergers and acquisitions services.[5] Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is a renowned corporate firm that anticipates success in the gambling market, and it should come as no surprise to see other firms incorporate groups into their practices to specifically focus on regulations, compliance, and negotiations in this area.

Although the battle between independent sports agencies and professional league executives regarding league data may have seemed trivial just a month ago, it has effectively ramped up with the inclusion of companies, such as private equity firms and hotel chains. Watch out, law firms just received a new set of clients along with legal issues to sort out throughout the next few years.

[1] Kang, John; Roberts, Hannah, Gibson Dunn Bets on Gambling Work With Launch of Global Practice, (Nov. 9, 2018),

[2] Id.

[3] Gouker, Dustin, Place Your Bets: Legal Sports Gambling is Coming to These Six States in 2018, Forbes (July 12, 2018),

[4] Diakantonis, Demitri; Flynn, Mary Kathleen, M&A wrap: Scientific Games, Don Best Sports, FanDuel, DraftKings, Al Gore’s Generation, Caisse, FNZ, Hyatt, Mergers & Acquisitions (Oct. 9, 2018),

[5] Id.

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