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

Areas of Practice
Bar Admissions
  • Nevada
  • J.D., UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, 2003
  • B.S., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1986
Areas of Practice
Bar Admissions
  • Nevada
  • J.D., UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, 2003
  • B.S., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1986

Professional Background

Dennis Gutwald is a Partner in McDonald Carano’s Gaming & Administrative Law Group. He has more than 20 years of experience advising gaming, liquor, and cannabis businesses regarding complex licensing, registration, permitting and ongoing compliance requirements. His regulatory expertise focuses on all aspects of gaming regulation in Nevada as well as coordinating the gaming regulatory approval process for acquisitions involving gaming operations in jurisdictions throughout the United States; retail and wholesale liquor; and cannabis cultivation, production, and retail sales.

Gaming Law

Prior to becoming a private practice gaming attorney, Dennis served seven years as a Nevada Gaming Control Board Investigation Division Agent. He provides gaming industry clients with unique insight into the inner workings of gaming regulatory agencies, what the regulatory agents look for in a gaming application and how they conduct investigations.

Dennis has over two decades of experience preparing and coordinating the gaming applications of, and providing gaming regulatory advice to, local, national, and foreign, private equity funds, publicly traded companies, institutional investors, gaming device manufacturers, resort hotel casino owners and operators, sportsbook operators, on-line gaming operators, and gaming vendor and service providers seeking to operate gaming business in Nevada or nationally. He has prepared the gaming license applications for the ground-up development of several major Las Vegas Strip properties in addition to applications for the acquisition of dozens of nonrestricted gaming establishments throughout Nevada. Additionally, he has advised numerous foreign gaming companies seeking to do business in Nevada. Dennis has also coordinated the gaming approval process for private equity companies, publicly traded companies, and institutional investors acquiring interests in gaming companies in hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Restrictive Gaming Licensing 

In addition to serving as counsel to many of the largest, most successful and highest profile gaming industry companies and executives, Dennis is one of the few Nevada gaming attorneys whose practice also focuses on helping much smaller companies obtain restricted gaming licenses for taverns, bars, restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, liquor stores, and auto/truck plazas.

Liquor Sale Licensing

Dennis is highly regarded for his experience advising clients regarding the liquor licensing and other regulatory requirements for the ground-up development or acquisition of nightclubs, restaurants, drug stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, movie theaters, taverns, and resort hotels as well as liquor wholesalers, manufacturers, and importers.

Cannabis Licensing

Dennis has been providing cannabis regulatory advice since 2016 when Nevada voters approved a ballot measure to tax and regulate recreational marijuana. He has advised owners, operators, investors, and lenders in the cultivation, production, and retail sale of cannabis, from the initial licensing application through the investigative requirements and ongoing compliance with local and state regulatory bodies.


Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell – AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating (since 2013)
  • Business Today – Top 10 Influential Nevada Gaming & Licensing Lawyers (2023)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Gaming Law (2022-2023, Band 3) (Client references describe Dennis to Chambers researchers as “a really hard worker, and he’s very knowledgeable about what’s needed for a gaming application.” “He researches matters efficiently and very timely.” “Dennis is knowledgeable and easy to work with.” “He is a brilliant lawyer.”)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Gaming Law (2020-2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Administrative and Regulatory Law (2022-2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Cannabis Law (2024)
  • Vegas Inc – “Top Lawyers” in Gaming Law (2020, 2022, 2023)
  • Nevada Business Magazine – “Legal Elite/ Top Rank Attorneys” (2017)

Community Engagement

Dennis is a Board Member of Keep Memory Alive, a 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.

Attorney News

McDonald Carano Receives Highest Number of Rankings in Chambers 2023

Chambers produces the global legal profession’s most respected and comprehensive rankings of lawyers and practice areas. Chambers researched law firms with offices in Nevada for inclusion in the 2023 edition…

17 Las Vegas Office Lawyers Recognized in Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch®

McDonald Carano proudly announces that 15 of our Las Vegas office lawyers have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and…

Top 10 Influential Nevada Gaming & Licensing Lawyers in 2023

McDonald Carano congratulates A.G. Burnett, Greg Giordano, and Dennis Gutwald on being included in Business Today’s list of the “Top 10 Influential Nevada Gaming & Licensing Lawyers” for 2023. Business…

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