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US Special Counsel

Mark Balestra

We provide insights, analyses, access, and strategy services to some of the world’s best and nimblest businesses – all underpinned by out of the box thinking and high quality legal work.

Bio

Mark’s expertise spans a number of gaming-related industry sectors, including online gambling, poker, skill gaming, sweepstakes, social gaming, affiliate marketing, fantasy sports, e-sports and tribal gaming.

Based in St. Louis, Mark joined Segev LLP in 2017 and heads the firm’s US practice. In this role he has navigated legal and business matters for all types of clients, with extensive expertise in the gaming and gambling industries – particularly in technology-driven sectors – in which he has counseled clients in a variety of capacities for over two decades. His transactional experience spans regulatory compliance, corporate formation and structuring, securities, intellectual property, finance, due diligence, M&A, commercial agreements, employment matters and other areas.

In the gaming and gambling space, Mark has serviced clients with businesses focusing on mobile/online gambling, poker, lotteries, bookmaking, racing, skill gaming, fantasy sports, e-sports, console gaming, contests, sweepstakes and more. In addition to the work he performs for these clients, he has authored legal opinions covering skill gaming, fantasy sports, sweepstakes, sports betting, affiliate marketing, casino games, charitable gaming, online poker and contests.

Mark has helped his gaming and gambling clients obtain regulatory approval in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

In addition to gaming and gambling companies, he has assisted clients who provide goods and services related to cannabis, cryptocurrency, mining, retail, aerospace, recycling, TV production, theme park entertainment, motorsports, virtual reality, landscaping, agriculture, food & beverage, healthcare, wholesale, publishing, real estate, biotech and many other verticals.

Prior to joining Segev, Mark was the founding member of gaming and betting consultancy BolaVerde Media Group (BVMG) and served as that company’s director from 2009 to 2016. With BVMG, he advised gaming and gambling clients on compliance strategies for the highly regulated, highly competitive US gambling industry and specialized in preparing foreign gambling businesses for US market entry.

Mark co-founded iGaming North America, an annual conference focusing on the convergence of traditional and digital gambling in the North American markets. He also ran the BV Direction e-learning program providing educational webinars covering US gaming and betting policy.

Over the years Mark has been a regular contributor to several gaming trade publications and has been featured as an gaming and betting expert by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, ESPN, CNET, Wired magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.

In 2006, Mark was named one of Global Gaming Business magazine’s “25 People to Watch” in the worldwide gambling industry.

He is a member of the Missouri Bar, the American Bar Association, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and International Masters of Gaming Law.

+1 604 629 5400 | m.balestra@segevllp.com
Representative Publications
  • “How to Win at Online Gambling” (2005) – Author
  • “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Gambling” (2000) – Author
  • iGamingnews.com (online) – Co-creator, publisher and editor
  • Policy Pulse iGaming policy analysis service – Creator, publisher, editor, primary contributor
  • Internet Gambling Report – Editor and contributing author
  • Wagering on the Internet (annual report) – Editor and co-author
  • Periodicals: IGWB, Casino Executive, Global Gaming Business, American Gaming Lawyer, iGaming
  • Business, Gaming Industry Observer, Casino Journal, eGaming Review.
Appearances At Conferences
  • Global Interactive Gambling Summit & Expo
  • FSTA Winter Conference
  • OPO Tech Talks
  • Global Gaming Expo
  • European I-Gaming Congress
  • Asian I-Gaming Congress
  • World Poker Congress
  • iGaming North America
  • Canadian Gaming Summit
  • Digital Gaming and Lottery Policy Conference
  • Southern Gaming Summit
  • NAGRA Annual Training and
  • Education Conference
  • Gaming Technology Summit
  • iGaming Congress
  • NCLGS Winter Meeting
  • NASPL Annual Conference
  • Rally Innovation Conference

“With their leading igaming legal team, advanced understanding of blockchain technologies, the token-sale process, and token-sale legal issues, Segev LLP was the ideal partner to help us deliver the highest quality block chain enabled sports betting experience to our valuable customers.”

Darius Eghdami

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