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Blakes has one of Canada’s leading gaming practices and has been at the forefront of gaming law since its inception in Canada.  Our expertise ranges across all forms of gaming and gaming operations and includes a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in casino development, existing and emerging online gaming operations,  M&A transactions,  intellectual property and IT, gaming regulatory (including compliance with gaming laws), player loyalty programs and gaming litigation. Blakes is the gaming counsel of choice in Canada and is a member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

We represent every type of industry participant, including domestic and international commercial casino operators, government gaming corporations, race tracks, Internet gaming companies, suppliers, and financiers. We also advise those who interact with the gaming industry such as sports and media organizations. Beyond our legal skills, we have a unique understanding of the industry, having represented major international gaming industry players for over 20 years, since the inception of the gaming business in Canada.

Matters on which we advise include:

  • Structuring and negotiating agreements for the financing, development and operation of casinos, hotels and entertainment centres.

  • Advising on casino development, operation and compliance, including intellectual property, services and   supply contracts, utility agreements, marketing and advertising, privacy and gaming legislation compliance.

  • Advising bidders into Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's various Casino and Lottery modernization (i.e., privatization) processes.

  • Advising casino companies and their shareholders on tax and corporate structures.

  • Negotiations with provincial governments, Crown corporations and regulatory agencies.

  • Representation of casino operators in litigation.

  • Assisting industry participants with gaming registrations.

  • Advising Internet gaming operators.

  • Advising in respect of online Fantasy Sports matters.

  • Advising underwriters and financial institutions as to financings of gaming companies.

  • Conducting investigations for regulatory purposes.

Recent Experience
  • Penn National Gaming, Inc. on its US$2-billion acquisition of Score Media and Gaming, Inc.

  • ​The Stars Group Inc. on its C$6-billion acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming, together with related debt financings, resulting in the world’s largest public online gaming company

  • PlayAGS, Inc. on its US$49-million acquisition of Integrity Gaming Corp.

  • Successfully defended CHC Casinos Canada Limited and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in class actions arising out of a cyber-attack against Casino Rama.

  • The Stars Group on its US$15-billion enterprise value combination with Flutter Entertainment to form the world's largest online betting and gaming operator, which includes the PokerStars, Fox Bet and FanDuel businesses in the U.S. 

  • ​Canadian counsel to Penn National Gaming on its investment in Score Media and Gaming Inc. (formerly TheScore, Inc.) and the 20-year framework agreement providing Score with the right to obtain market access to offer online and mobile sports betting and i-gaming applications in 11 states where Penn National operates casinos and racetracks.

  • Play AGS on the Canadian gaming regulatory elements of its initial public offering of 10,250,000 shares of common stock.

  • Penn National Gaming on Canadian regulatory matters on its acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment.

  • Caesars on all aspects of its development of Caesars Windsor the first commercial casino in Canada. Blakes negotiated the operating and development agreements with the provincial government, negotiated and implemented financing arrangements, and advised on construction and project development contracts. Blakes continues to act as principal outside Canadian counsel to Caesars.

  • Penn National Gaming, Inc. on its acquisition of CHC Casinos, the operator of Casino Rama. Blakes acts as principal outside counsel to CHC and Canadian counsel to Penn.

  • Falls Management Company, the operator of Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara, as principal outside Canadian counsel.

  • A consortium bidding on the privatization of Ontario’s lottery.

  • Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. on its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

  • Caesars World by Park Place Entertainment on the acquisition of the Canadian properties from Starwood Resorts & Hotels, including the Halifax and Sydney casinos and its interest in Windsor Casino Limited.

  • Paragon Gaming on casino projects under Alberta’s new First Nations Gaming Policy.

  • Orangeville Raceway Limited in its negotiation of a casino operating contract with British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the development of the casino and its sale to Great Canadian Casinos Ltd.

  • National Hockey League and National Basketball Association on gaming law matters.

Awards & Recognition

Members of the Blakes Gaming team are consistently recognized as leaders in the following publication:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada