Jones Walker Expands Gaming Group with New Office in Tallahassee, Florida

Jones Walker LLP is expanding its reach within the gaming industry by reopening its Tallahassee, Florida, office effective immediately. The new office expansion is the direct result of a successful and long-standing strategic alliance with Florida’s Dean Mead law firm. A total of nine attorneys and government relations professionals will join Jones Walker to maximize a larger client delivery platform.

The Tallahassee office attorneys join the existing Jones Walker Gaming Industry Team, co-chaired by Kelly Duncan, former president of International Masters of Gaming Law, and Tommy Shepherd, former president of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.

“Marc Dunbar and his team have an impressive resume within the gaming industry that both enhances and complements our existing gaming team at Jones Walker,” said Kelly. “We are pleased to have Marc and his team join our firm and for him to lead our Tallahassee office.”

The Jones Walker gaming team in Tallahassee includes:

Marc Dunbar, a partner in the firm’s Government Relations Practice Group and head of the Tallahassee office, who focuses his practice on governmental relations and legislative advocacy, commercial transactions, and gaming for casinos, gaming suppliers, pari-mutuels, sweepstakes, and charities. He has twice served in senior executive capacities for large, integrated gaming properties; is qualified as an expert witness in gaming-related administrative trials; founded and subsequently sold a gaming-related business; and is a sought-after game design consultant. Marc is a former assistant general counsel and communications director for the Florida Department of State. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law and is a member of its board of visitors.

Dan McGinn, special counsel in the firm’s Tax Practice Group, who focuses his practice on a broad range of regulatory compliance and legislative advocacy matters. He also practices before Florida’s Gaming Control Commission, advocating for sensible gaming regulations and fair application of the prohibitions against illegal gambling. Dan represented the state in a matter preventing the proliferation of gray-market slot machines and argued on behalf of interested parties against Florida’s Voter Control of Gambling amendment. He also represents businesses and individuals before Florida’s Department of Revenue and in courts throughout Florida in state and local tax matters.

Dan Russell, a partner in the firm’s Government Relations Practice Group, who focuses his practice on civil and administrative litigation, gaming, and governmental law. He works with parties whose interests, investments, and operations in a variety of heavily regulated industries put them under increased scrutiny by government regulators and law enforcement officials. Dan is the former general counsel of the Florida Lottery and of Gulfstream Park.

Reflecting on his and his colleagues’ return to Jones Walker, Marc stated, “We are excited to rejoin the Jones Walker family and look forward to continuing the successes we experienced when we were last together.”

About Jones Walker’s Gaming Industry Team
The Gaming Industry Team at Jones Walker offers internationally recognized, industry-leading legal, regulatory, and litigation counsel to owners, investors, tribes, vendors, and charities throughout the world. Our client base is broad, our gaming experience is deep, and our network of regulatory, tax, and industry contacts is extensive. Taken together, these strengths enable us to provide targeted legal solutions, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and dispute resolution services that address today’s challenges and lay the groundwork for future success.

Mississippi Gaming Commission Posts Agendas for December 2023 Meeting

The Mississippi Gaming Commission has released two agendas for the December meeting to be held on December 21, 2023. 

To review the December 21, 2023 agendas please click the links below.

Beneficial for Whom? Requirement to Provide Beneficial Ownership Information for Business Entities Begins January 1, 2024

On January 1, 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act, a US federal law, will begin requiring certain corporations and limited liability companies to disclose their beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Department of the Treasury. The corporate ownership structures of many gaming companies, particularly those that utilize a private equity or Voteco model, may be subject to the reporting obligations.

Unless an exemption applies, entities subject to these obligations must report information about their beneficial owners, including their full legal names, dates of birth, addresses, unique identification numbers, and an image of one of the following non-expired documents: (i) state driver’s license; (ii) US passport; or (iii) identification document issued by a state, local government, or tribe. Gaming companies should consult with their legal counsel on their specific structures and the applicability of the reporting obligations to their corporate ownership models.

The willful failure to report complete or updated beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, or the willful provision of or attempt to provide false or fraudulent beneficial ownership information, may result in civil or criminal penalties, including civil penalties of up to $500 for each day that the violation continues or criminal penalties including imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Senior officers of an entity that fails to file a required beneficial ownership information report may be held accountable for that failure.

The obligation to report this information is generally required for entities with at least one beneficial owner who owns 25% or more of the entity or exercises substantial control over it. An individual exercises substantial control over a reporting company if that individual meets any of four general criteria: (1) the individual is a senior officer; (2) the individual has authority to appoint or remove certain officers or a majority of directors of the reporting company; (3) the individual is an important decision maker; or (4) the individual has any other form of substantial control over the reporting company.

Reporting companies created or registered to do business before January 1, 2024, will have until January 1, 2025, to file their initial reports. Under FinCEN’s regulations, reporting companies created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, will have 90 days after their company’s creation or registration to file their initial reports, and those created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 days after their company’s creation or registration to file their initial reports.