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Gaming, Entertainment and Sports

Philip H. Goodpasture Williams Mullen Headshot
David Albo Williams Mullen Headshot

Whether it’s our reputation for serving as trusted advisors to renowned recording artists and bringing live music to the masses, or our work in helping to bring newer entertainment offerings in our region, Williams Mullen is able to help navigate the legal and legislative challenges clients face, so they can focus on their business.


Williams Mullen has been in the forefront of gaming industry development in our region. We played an important role in the creation of the laws and regulatory policies that govern the gaming industry in Virginia. Hon. David B. Albo, the chair of our Government Relations Practice, co-authored the Fantasy Contests Act (Senate Bill 646, 2016) while serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, helping Virginia to become the first state to regulate fantasy sports. Williams Mullen attorneys and government relations professionals also worked with a coalition of stakeholders to develop the legislation that authorized the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC) to study gaming in the Commonwealth (Senate Bill 1126, 2019). We lobbied for the development and passage of House Bill 4/Senate Bill 36 (2020), the legislation that authorized casino gaming in certain cities in Virginia. We have continued to work with local governments, casino interests and other parties to develop legislation that reflects recommendations of the JLARC report and includes best practices from other states while considering the needs of local governments. We have fostered strong relationships over the years with state agency and local government leaders affected by this highly regulated industry.

As veterans of the legislative and political process, our team has deep insight and understanding with respect to opportunities and challenges facing gaming industry clients. We can provide legal counsel to owners, operators and associated companies involved in the gaming industry. We have extensive experience addressing issues important to gaming industry constituents. We also represent other parties including investors, lenders and vendors that have gaming-related interests.

Our Gaming Industry Team works with lawyers and consultants from a variety of Williams Mullen practices to deliver comprehensive business and legal advice. Our ability to provide coordinated counsel in corporate, finance, securities, tax, labor, employment, immigration and other areas of law helps minimize the risks that can arise when using multiple law firms for legal services.

We can help gaming industry clients with a variety of areas including:

  • Alcoholic beverage control laws
  • Administrative law
  • Construction law
  • Contracts
  • Corporate law
  • Economic development
  • Infrastructure financing
  • Government relations
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Labor, employment and immigration
  • Land use and zoning
  • Litigation
  • Real estate acquisition and leasing
  • Sweepstakes law
  • Tribal law

Entertainment & Sports

Williams Mullen attorneys have served as longtime advisors to recording artists, athletes, performing artists, music producers, concert and event producers, publishing and broadcast companies, interactive media companies, sports organizations and film makers. We recognize that the practice of entertainment law requires more than just a familiarity with legal concepts. It involves the ability to put the right team together to address specific issues. Williams Mullen has the depth to provide our entertainment clients with comprehensive legal services in areas including business and tax law, intellectual property law, licensing, litigation and private equity.

We can help gaming industry clients with a variety of matters including:

  • Contract negotiation
  • Business formation
  • Financing
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Copyright and trademark
  • Immigration
  • Litigation including intellectual property infringement, contract disputes, publicity and privacy rights, and other film, music and entertainment related disputes
  • Estate and Tax planning
  • Organizing 501(c)(3) charitable foundations
  • Film production and distribution
  • Music and literary publishing, sampling, and licensing
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  • Assisted a client in obtaining one of the first Fantasy Contest Act licenses awarded in Virginia and helped them navigate the certification of the online gaming platform and requisite background checks and regulatory review processes.
  • Provided legal advice and government relations advocacy, including the analysis of state statutes, legal issues at the city-level, constitutional issues and matters related to potential litigation for a media and entertainment client striving to develop and operate a casino and resort.
  • Served as lead local attorney on real estate and land use approvals to facilitate the development of one of the first land-based casinos in Virginia. We were involved in obtaining all necessary approvals to create an entertainment district and develop a casino and related uses. We handled all aspects of the development including rezoning, master plan and use permits.
  • Advised an international entertainment company on the business impact of proposed Virginia state regulations and identified potential amendments that could resolve their business challenges.

Entertainment & Sports

  • Provided general business, intellectual property, tax and trust development for multi-platinum selling recording artists.
  • Negotiated contracts for Olympic athletes.
  • Provided general business and tax assistance for former NBA players continuing their careers abroad.
  • Organized a 501(c)(3) for a celebrity’s charitable foundation.
  • Provided trademark counsel for a sporting tournament.
  • Arranged for visas for international performers entering the United States or traveling to foreign countries.
  • Provided trust and estate counseling for musicians.
  • Advised on Real Estate and leasing arrangements for GRAMMY winning performers.
  • Represented an online entertainment company in its sale to one of the world’s largest concert search engines.
  • Created a film fund for an Emmy award winning documentarian