Sidley advised Empire Resorts, Inc., in a strategic alliance with an affiliate of bet365 Group Limited to develop a physical and online sportsbook at Resorts World Catskills. Resorts World Catskills, owned by a subsidiary of Empire, is one of only four commercial casinos in New York State currently authorized by a statute to offer retail sports betting, pending the promulgation of regulations. Resorts World Catskills is ideally positioned to offer sports betting with the expertise of bet365, the world’s largest online sports bookmaker. Under their 20-year agreement, the parties will share profits equally, after bet365 recoups its start-up and other costs. In addition, an affiliate of bet365 agreed to purchase up to US$50 million in newly issued common stock of Empire, making it Empire’s second largest stockholder. Kien Huat Realty III, Ltd., Empire’s largest stockholder, also committed to purchase up to US$126 million of newly issued convertible preferred stock of Empire.
The Sidley team was led by partner Ken Baronsky (Century City) with assistance from global finance partner James Crooks (London) and associate Iram Tariq (London).