Indian Gaming

Practice Area

The attorneys of Brad S. Jolly & Associates have been representing Indian nations and their gaming entities throughout their careers in various jurisdictions. Some of the areas where our attorneys have represented tribes and gaming enterprises include:

  • Negotiating and drafting gaming compacts and amendments and addenda to gaming compacts
  • Reviewing proposed games to determine whether they are class II or class III and whether they are permitted under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ("IGRA"), existing compacts, National Indian Gaming Commission ("NIGC") regulations, and other applicable law
  • Drafting tribal gaming ordinances and regulations
  • Arbitrations against and negotiations with states involving compact interpretation and disputes
  • Compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribal-state compacts, NIGC regulations, and other applicable law
  • Gaming license issues for vendors, employees, primary management officials, and key employees
  • Negotiating and drafting of gaming manager contracts and gaming vendor contracts, including contracts for the purchase and sale of gaming devices
  • Development of tribal regulatory agencies and their structure
  • Organization and establishment of tribal gaming enterprises
  • Johnson Act compliance
  • Sports betting, parimutuel wagering, and networked progressive machines
  • Gaming facility construction
  • Reviewing and drafting comments on proposed NIGC regulations
  • Working with and developing Revenue Allocation Plans
  • Setting up trusts for per capita payments for minors and incompetents and drafting trust agreements with trustees of such trusts

Our attorneys have vast experience in representing Indian tribes and their gaming entities. We are well versed in all gaming laws and regulations and have dealt with gaming issues from both the regulatory perspective and the enterprise perspective. In all cases, we approach issues with respect to gaming with the fundamental principles that tribal gaming itself is an exercise of governmental authority and that Indian tribes are the primary regulators of Indian gaming, with state and federal authorities playing only a secondary role. We have committed ourselves to representing Indian nations and their entities only and making the affirmative decision to not represent management companies or others whose interests are opposed to tribes and their interests. We strongly believe that such a commitment is required to truly assist tribes in advancing their interests.

Our attorneys know and understand Indian gaming at the ground level. While some may "know" Indian gaming law and issues, without ground-level understanding of gaming operation and regulation, that knowledge is essentially academic. As with all of our representation of tribes, Brad S. Jolly & Associates makes a point of knowing the real world impacts of issues facing gaming operations and regulators. Brad S. Jolly & Associates recognizes the importance of maintaining and ensuring the integrity of gaming operations. We understand the need to ensure sufficient authority and capabilities in tribal regulatory bodies without causing undue interference in non-regulatory business matters of the enterprise. Brad S. Jolly & Associates believes in maintaining a healthy balance amongst tribal legislative and executive bodies, tribal gaming regulatory authorities, and gaming enterprises in a manner that keeps each sufficiently independent to prevent confusion over authority and appropriate roles while still ensuring that integrity is maintained and accountability to supreme tribal governmental bodies is not lost.

As with all of our work with tribal economic enterprises, Brad S. Jolly & Associates holds the firm belief that gaming cannot be simply considered an "economic activity" or "private enterprise." We recognize that Indian gaming is a governmental enterprise which provides fundamental revenue to tribal governments to provide services that other governments take for granted. Not only does Brad S. Jolly & Associates consistently assert that Indian gaming operations cannot be considered any less governmental than state lotteries, but we recognize that, unlike states, most tribes lack any significant tax base with which to raise governmental revenues. Indian gaming and other economic enterprises provide to tribes the equivalent of what taxation provides to states and, consequently, Indian gaming must at all times be respected as a governmental operation that is itself an exercise and part of tribal self-government.