McDonald Carano Serves as Special Nevada Gaming Counsel
for Hard Rock’s $1 B Acquisition of The Mirage Hotel and Casino
On December 13, Hard Rock International, owned by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, announced its agreement to acquire 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. A.G. Burnett, Greg Giordano and Dennis Gutwald of McDonald Carano 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. While the influential Mirage brand will be going away, Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, said to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Let’s not kid ourselves. The Hard Rock is a major international brand and the visual impact of one of the guitar hotels is a very significant addition to the Las Vegas skyline.”
Hard Rock International’s $1 Billion Acquisition
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. The acquisition includes a 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 Las Vegas. MGM Resorts will retain The Mirage name and brand and license it to Hard Rock royalty-free for up to three years while it finalizes plans to rebrand the property. Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and, through the acquisition, will become the first tribe to own a casino on the Strip. The sale is expected to close in the second half of 2022.
McDonald Carano’s Special Nevada Gaming Counsel Team
In addition to decades of experience as outside counsel gaming attorneys, A.G., Greg and Dennis brought to the acquisition their unique background as former regulators in Nevada’s gaming industry, with invaluable insight into the inner workings of gaming regulatory 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
- “Hard Rock’s $1B Vegas Hotel Buy Prompted By Inflation Fears,” Law360, 12/14/2021
- “MGM Resorts International selling Mirage operations for over $1B,” Las Vegas Review Journal, 12/13/2021
- “Hard Rock to Buy Mirage Casino on Las Vegas Strip for $1.1 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2021
- “Hard Rock, buying Mirage operations, to be first tribal operator on Las Vegas Strip,” CDC Gaming Reports, 12/13/2021
- “MGM Resorts sells The Mirage to Hard Rock in US$1.1 billion deal,” Inside Asian Gaming, 12/13/2021
- “Florida Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock to buy Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $1B,” South Florida Business Journal, 12/14/2021
- “Hard Rock to buy The Mirage for more than $1 billion, will add a guitar-shaped tower,” The Nevada Independent, 12/13/2021
- “Hard Rock Int’l to purchase The Mirage Las Vegas for $1.075B,” Hotel Business, 12/14/2021
- “Hard Rock International Announces Agreement to Purchase The Mirage Las Vegas Hotel and Casino,” Hard Rock International Press Release, 12/13/2021
- “MGM Resorts International Announces Agreement to Sell Operations of the Mirage for $1.075 Billion,” MGM Resorts Press Release, 12/13/2021
About McDonald Carano
McDonald Carano has been shaping Nevada’s legal, business, and policy landscape since our founding in 1949. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals working from offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City, we are Nevada’s law firm for business. Our local, national and international clients include Fortune 500 corporations, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs and startups, non-profit organizations, government entities, and high-net-worth individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, business law and government affairs counsel. Please visit mcdonaldcarano.com
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