Our Practice


A significant part of our practice involves Indian gaming. We have represented tribes on a broad range of gaming matters. 

We have assisted tribal governments in preparing and developing strategies for gaming compact negotiations and implementing those strategies. We have represented several tribes in successfully negotiating class III gaming compacts and amendments with several states.

Our firm has considerable experience in assisting tribes in evaluating proposals for the development and construction of a gaming facility, terms for financing, and the purchase of equipment and supplies. We have evaluated numerous proposed management agreements for our tribal clients, and negotiated several such agreements on behalf of our clients. We also have addressed our clients' needs before the National Indian Gaming Commission with respect to a range of matters including potential enforcement actions, approval of management agreements, and tribal rights to engage in gaming activities on after-acquired lands under section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

With respect to tribal gaming regulation, the firm has many years of experience in working with tribal regulatory agencies and assisting them in carrying out their duty to maintain the honesty and integrity of tribal casinos. We have extensive experience in the development of tribal laws and institutions necessary to monitor and regulate gaming. We have drafted tribal gaming ordinances, gaming regulations, and minimum internal control standards and amendments. We have provided legal advice on procedures for licensing and background investigations of tribal gaming employees and vendors. We have developed manuals and standardized forms for tribal gaming commissions use in the licensing process and in connection with conducting hearings on licenses and other regulatory issues.

We are also active with respect to federal regulatory developments that affect tribal gaming, particularly those of the National Indian Gaming Commission. We advise tribes and tribal gaming commissions in their efforts to ensure that the NIGC regulations are consistent with tribal interests. For example, we have assisted our clients in commenting on the NIGC's regulations establishing a procedure for issuing certificates of self-regulation, as well as minimum internal control standards.  We submitted an extensive and successful argument to the Commission that it should not disclose the gaming revenues of individual tribes under the Freedom of Information Act.

Finally, our firm has long played an active role in litigation to defend and protect tribal rights to engage in gaming activities since gaming first became a tool of tribal economic development. We successfully challenged gaming management agreements that were made in violation of federal law, e.g. Wis. Winnebago Bus. Comm. v. Koberstein, 762 F.2d 613 (7th Cir. 1985), and have represented tribes in litigation involving the permissible scope of gaming., e.g. State of Washington v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et al., No. C95-1805-FVS (W.D. Wash), as well as litigation regarding whether specific games are class II or class III.   We also represented tribes in litigation where the state's authority to enter into gaming compacts with the tribes has been challenged. In the litigation affecting tribes in Michigan, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the validity of tribal-state gaming compacts. Taxpayers of Mich. Against Casinos v. Michigan, 471 Mich. 306, 685 N.W.2d 221 (2004), cert denied.125 S.Ct. 1298 (2005).  And in litigation involving all the Tribes in Wisconsin, we served as lead counsel in sharply contested, complex litigation that was brought by a race track operator, seeking to terminate all Indian gaming in the State. Our efforts in the Wisconsin courts were successful, and Indian gaming in Wisconsin was preserved.  Dairyland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Doyle, 719 N.W.2d 408 (Wis.2006).