Celebrating 75 Years of Serving Nevada’s Legal, Business, Government, and Civic Communities

Special Nevada Gaming Counsel
for Hard Rock’s $1 B Acquisition of Mirage Hotel and Casino

On December 13, 2021, Hard Rock International, owned by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, announced its agreement to acquire from MGM Resorts International the operations of The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $1.075 billion and enter into a long-term lease agreement with VICI Properties Inc. for the real estate property of The Mirage. On December 16, 2022, HRI received regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission for the acquisition. The transaction closed on December 19 and HRI assumed operations control of the property. 

A.G. BurnettGreg Giordano, Dennis Gutwald and Kelci Binau formed the McDonald Carano team that served as Special Nevada Gaming Counsel providing the complete range of legal services required to assure compliance with Nevada’s extensive gaming law licensing and regulatory approval procedures. McDonald Carano is honored to be part of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s strategic project. 

The acquisition includes a renovation and rebranding of the resort and a change to the Las Vegas Strip skyline as Hard Rock plans to build an iconic guitar-shaped hotel on the 77-acre property and rename it Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Hard Rock International is globally recognized with venues in 67 countries across 249 locations and owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of 86,000 pieces of authentic music memorabilia displayed at its locations around the world.

McDonald Carano’s Unique In-House Regulatory and Licensing Experience
In addition to decades of experience as outside counsel for gaming clients, members of the McDonald Carano team brought to the acquisition unique first-hand experience in numerous leadership positions at the Nevada Gaming Control Board as well as senior level positions in other gaming law related government bodies, including the Governor’s Office and Attorney General’s Office. McDonald Carano provided Hard Rock International with invaluable insight into the inner workings of gaming regulatory and licensing agencies.

  • A.G. Burnett: Prior to joining McDonald Carano, A.G.’s 20-year regulatory career includes serving as Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, member of the Governor’s Gaming Policy Committee, Deputy Chief of the NGCB’s Corporate Securities Division, and Senior Deputy Nevada Attorney General representing the NGCB, the Nevada Gaming Commission, and the Nevada Commission on Sports. 
  • Greg Giordano: Prior to becoming a private practice gaming attorney, Greg served as a Deputy Nevada Attorney General representing the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, and then served for four years as the Chief of the Corporate Securities Division of the NGCB.
  • Dennis Gutwald: Prior to becoming a private practice gaming attorney, Dennis served seven years as a Senior Agent in the Investigations Division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and is an expert on the application, approval, and investigation process.

McDonald Carano’s Gaming Law Practice has been the global gaming industry’s premier gaming law group since the firm’s founding in 1949. Our clients include owners and operators of casinos and pari-mutuel wagering facilities, hotels and resorts, restricted gaming license entities, online and mobile operators, manufacturers and distributors of gaming equipment and software, sports-book operators, eSports entities, travel centers, skill-based gaming, lotteries and sweepstakes, and fantasy sports, as well as key employees, investors, banks and non-traditional lenders. We also assist vendors that provide goods and services to casinos as well as technology providers for internet and mobile gaming and sports wagering operators.

News Coverage of the Acquisition

About McDonald Carano

In 2024, McDonald Carano celebrates 75 years of serving Nevada’s legal, business, government, and civic communities. More than 60 lawyers and government relations professionals serve state, national, and international clients from our offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City. McDonald Carano provides legal services and government affairs and advocacy counsel to startups, corporations, trade associations, nonprofits, public entities, high-net-worth individuals, investors, and public-private partnerships throughout Nevada. We are proud to be your Nevada law firm since 1949.

Media Contact

Mark Buckovich


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