1980 Festival Plaza Drive, Suite 650
Las Vegas , NV 89135
Phone: (702) 792-7000
Pete Bernhard has represented many prominent Nevada individuals, organizations and businesses since 1976. His work has included major real estate transactions, including gaming and non-gaming properties, along with commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
In 2001, Pete was appointed as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, with regulatory and policy-making authority over all Nevada gaming licensees. He was re-appointed to serve four-year terms beginning in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He finished his service to the State on June 30, 2014 to facilitate a smooth transition for the 2015 legislative session. Prior to 2001, he served as a member and chairman of the Nevada Commission on Ethics. Pete has been a practicing attorney in Las Vegas since 1976, specializing in commercial litigation, reorganizations, and administrative law. He received his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University in 1971 and his juris doctor degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1975. He has served on various committees and organizations, including as a Nevada representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, as Chair of the United States District Court Magistrate Selection Committee, and as a member of the Nevada Supreme Court Advisory Committee to Review the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.
During his tenure on the Nevada Gaming Commission, Pete presided over the two largest combinations in Nevada gaming history (MGM-Mandalay Resorts and Harrah’s-Park Place Entertainment), along with numerous licensing proceedings for newly-constructed facilities (Wynn, Red Rock Station, South Point) and for transfers of existing properties throughout the State of Nevada. As the policy-making body for gaming matters in Nevada, the Commission has recently evaluated regulatory concerns presented by internet gaming, by gaming expansion into new jurisdictions around the world, by evolving sources of capital (including increased investment in Nevada from private equity firms), and by the progression of server-based gaming, mobile gaming and other technological advances. During Pete’s tenure, the Commission has also imposed the largest fines in Nevada gaming history for regulatory violations. In 2013, the first on-line, intrastate poker games began, following approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission.
He also represents Keep Memory Alive and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, non-profit entities involved in research and clinical study of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and ALS. He lectures regularly in continuing education and training programs for the State Bar of Nevada, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the Executive Development Program at the University of Nevada Reno. He delivered a tribute to gaming attorney Bob Faiss, as part of the 2013 Global Gaming Exposition and meets with gaming officials and regulators from other states and countries to discuss matters of mutual interest. Pete testified on gaming matters before the 2013 Nevada legislature and is working actively with Governor Sandoval’s office developing possible compacts with other jurisdictions to regulate interactive gaming.
Pete is a member of the Nevada State Bar, the Clark County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Mr. Bernhard has achieved an AV rating, the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbell, an international peer-review rating system for the legal profession.
- Recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in MyVegas Magazine for 2019
- The Best Lawyers in America® – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America® Las Vegas Gaming Law Lawyer of the Year – 2017
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Alternative Dispute Resolution – 2010, 2011 and 2012
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Arbitration – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Commercial Litigation – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Gaming – 2009, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Litigation - Real Estate – 2018 and 2019
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Mediation – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
- The Best Lawyers in America® in Real Estate Law – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
- Mountain States Super Lawyers in Business Litigation, General Litigation – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
- Mountain States Super Lawyers in Business Litigation – 2017, 2018 and 2019
- Nevada Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition – 2009
- Martindale Hubbell rating: AV
- The Nevada Business Magazine - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Nevada Legal Elite
- American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel Magazine Top Rated Lawyers in Commercial Litigation – 2013
- Vegas Inc. Top Lawyer in Administrative and Regulatory Law - 2013
- Desert Companion Magazine – 2011 and 2014 Top Lawyers in Insolvency and Reorganization
- Named by Las Vegas Business Press as one of the 20 people in Las Vegas with Clout in 2011
- Received a lifetime achievement award from Nevada Newsmakers Outreach in 2012
J.D. George Washington University, 1975
B.A. Harvard College, cum laude, 1971
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 1977
U.S. District Court, District of Nevada 1976
U.S. Supreme Court, Nevada 1995