Areas of Practice
- J.D., UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, 2003
- B.S., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1986
Dennis Gutwald is a Partner in McDonald Carano’s Gaming & Administrative Law Group. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling premier gaming companies, banks, investment companies, and high-net-worth and high-profile individuals navigate all aspects of gaming law in Nevada as well as multi-jurisdictional gaming law requirements throughout the U.S.
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, which regulates the State of Nevada’s multi-billion-dollar gaming industry. He provides clients with unique insight into the inner workings of gaming regulatory agencies and particularly what they look for in a gaming application and how they conduct investigations. He is valued for his ability to skillfully guide clients through the entire application and investigation process, all while establishing trust and rapport with regulators. Dennis is well-known for his ability to help clients navigate the complex regulatory approval process as they submit all necessary applications and undergo investigations, simplifying the transaction process and efficiently guiding clients through investigations from start to finish.
Dennis’ extensive experience includes assisting a broad range of clients, including active institutional investors, Nevada-based national gaming companies, local casinos/hotels, publicly traded gaming businesses headquartered outside of the U.S., Indian Tribes, global gaming device manufacturers, sportsbook and resort casino operators, and administrators of estates holding ownership interests in gaming licensees, among many others.
His scope of expertise is equally as comprehensive, including coordinating the license applications for the acquisition of gaming companies in hundreds of jurisdictions, establishing eSports contests for cash in casinos, handling private equity companies’ gaming regulatory filings required in connection with investments in the stock of publicly traded gaming companies throughout the U.S., representing executives in connection with findings of suitability/licensing applications and hearings before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission, preparing gaming applications for major expansions as well as development of new casino resort hotels in Nevada, advising foreign manufacturers and distributors of gaming machines on Nevada gaming regulatory compliance and reporting requirements, advising on ownership structure options for the acquisition of casinos resorts, advising gaming licensees facing fines for regulatory and criminal violations occurring at their establishments, handling gaming applications for administrators of estates holding ownership interests in gaming licensee, advising sports book and resort casino operators regarding regulatory requirements and approvals required to integrate operations nationally, and preparing the gaming, liquor and other business applications for the ground-up development of resort hotels.
He also regularly counsels companies that conduct retail liquor sales in Nevada, including nightclubs, restaurants and taverns. Dennis advises clients pursuing liquor, land use, and cannabis regulatory approvals both locally and at the state level in Nevada. He has assisted numerous clients in obtaining the requisite liquor regulatory approvals required for acquisition or ground-up development of many major casino resort hotels and other liquor, gaming, and cannabis businesses. Dennis’s comprehensive experience includes preserving grandfathered liquor and gaming land use rights, entitlements and licenses. His extensive knowledge in this specialty area has allowed many dormant gaming properties throughout Nevada to preserve grandfathered rights despite closures lasting many years.
Board Member, Keep Memory Alive (non-profit organization created to increase awareness and raise funds for the research, diagnosis, and treatment of brain disorders in close affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health)
- Represent Hard Rock International, as Nevada Gaming Counsel, in 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.
- Represent an active institutional investor based in New York as its outside gaming counsel and handle on a national basis all of its gaming regulatory filings required in connection with its investments in the stock of various publicly traded companies involved in the gaming industry in the U.S.
- Represent a Nevada-based national gaming company in connection with all of its Nevada gaming regulatory compliance requirements, and regularly represent executives in connection with the handling of their findings of suitability/licensing applications and hearings before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission.
- Represent two downtown Las Vegas hotel/casinos in connection with all of their Nevada gaming regulatory compliance requirements, including preparing the gaming application for the development of a new casino resort hotel planned for downtown Las Vegas.
- Represent a publicly traded company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, in connection with all of its Nevada gaming regulatory compliance and reporting requirements. The company is a developer, manufacturer and seller of pachislot and pachinko machines and other game machines and peripheral equipment in Japan and worldwide, and a developer and owner of casino resort businesses.
- Assisted an Indian tribe in evaluating and determining ownership structure alternatives for the acquisition of various casino resorts.
- Assisted a major foreign gaming operator in assessing regulatory and approval requirements for the acquisition of an international Nevada-based gaming company.
- Assisted a large gaming device manufacturer in obtaining Nevada gaming manufacturers and distributors licenses.
- Advised a sportsbook and resort casino operator regarding the regulatory requirements and approvals required to integrate their operations nationally.
- Counseled a private equity company with a passive investment in a casino company in a lawsuit by the casino company attempting to force the private equity company to release confidential information to it based on alleged gaming regulatory requirements.
- Provided regulatory guidance for the major expansion of a casino resort and the development of an additional casino establishment in Nevada.
- Prepared gaming license applications for a company to open or acquire nine gaming operations in Nevada.
- Prepared gaming applications for multiple states and coordinated their submission for an entity with a substantial interest in a national casino resort company,
- Counseled a private equity company with a passive investment in a casino company in successfully addressing regulators’ concerns that passive investment restrictions were not being followed and licensure was required.
- Advised a gaming licensee in avoiding major fines after major regulatory and criminal violations occurred at its establishment.
Awards and Recognition
- The Best Lawyers in America© – Gaming Law (2020-2022)
- The Best Lawyers in America© – Administrative and Regulatory Law (2022)
- Vegas Inc. – “Top Lawyers” in Gaming Law (2020)
- Nevada Business Magazine – “Legal Elite” (2017)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
- 50 Hours Club, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Pro Bono Project (2010)
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 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…
McDonald Carano proudly announces that 37 of our lawyers have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, the leading peer-review…
McDonald Carano is proud to announce that all members of our Gaming & Administrative Law Practice have been recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2022 in both the Reno and…
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