Gabe Galanda and Ryan Dreveskracht were each published in the June 2012 edition of Gaming Law Review and Economics, the leading peer-reviewed journal addressing important regulatory and economic issues facing today’s gaming industry. Gabe was featured in a published set of roundtable comments on issues of "Native American Off-Reservation Gaming." Among Gabe's quotes:
“[O]ff-reservation gaming” is simply a politically loaded term, by the design of non-tribal political interests...[W]hat we are more likely than not talking about it is reacquired Indian lands -- lands to be held in trust for tribal governments by their trustee, the United States, for purposes of Indian governmental gaming enterprise."
"Everyone is awaiting the Interior Secretary’s determination on the Spokane Tribe's application for a two-part determination...[for a] proposed a gaming site just a few miles down the road from the Kalispel Casino and Resort, also in Airway Heights. As the crow flies, it’s about thirty miles from the Spokane Reservation. So the very recent acquisitions in California...perhaps bode well for the Spokane Tribe..."
"[A] Carcieri fix, as it has been called, is needed by Congress, both for purposes of trust acquisition relative to gaming and, more importantly, so that tribes can restore their land base and conduct themselves as governments, while diversifying their economies away from gaming....Any Carcieri fix and the issue of so-called off-reservation trust acquisition for gaming purposes are apples and oranges. But Congress has been persuaded to think that those two issues are inextricably intertwined with one another. And it is safe to say, I believe, that, so long as Congress believes that a Carcieri fix will allow so-called "off-reservation gaming," it is very likely that there will never be a Carcieri fix."
"[W]e are seeing a rise of cases like Patchak, where non-Indian citizens or officials are suing the United States or appealing administrative decisions and the tribe is not a party to the administrative litigation or to the federal court lawsuit -- until, perhaps, it is forced to intervene. And, generally speaking, tribes are immune from such administrative or federal court litigation between a non-Indian party and the federal government. But then they are faced with the Hobson's choice of essentially standing behind the shield of that immunity and not involving themselves in the litigation and, therefore, allowing the United States to represent its interests; or to actually consent to the litigation and effectively waive their immunity, because the tribe believes that it is the only party that can adequately represent its interests and because it believes -- perhaps more crucially –- that the federal government cannot adequately represent its interests."
"The tribes, whether by Congress or the Obama Administration, must be given a seat at the internet gaming table and they must be specifically mentioned in any federal law or regulation which allows internet gaming. If the United States flouts its obligations to Indian Country in regards to the legalization of internet gaming, then it may be time for tribal governments to start internet gaming irrespective of the fed. And that, of course, is precisely how modern Indian gaming began in the 1970s; that is what resulted in the Cabazon decision and, ultimately, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and, ultimately, it is that civil disobedience, if you will, that resulted in us having this discussion about a $26 billion Indian gaming industry."
Ryan published his article, "Keeping It Clean for the Future of Indian Gaming." A passage:
At minimum, the cautionary tale to lawyers exemplified by Lake of Torches must be told: Saybrook and Wells Fargo filed a $50 million suit against their former attorneys, alleging that Saybrook would not have purchased the bonds and Wells Fargo would not have secured them had it not been for their attorneys’ negligent advice regarding NIGC approval. It is highly unlikely that the attorneys’ malpractice insurance will cover any $50 million judgment. Further, although Lake of Torches was a legal victory for the Lac du Flambeau Tribe, it was Pyrrhic for both the Tribe and Indian Country. While Lac du Flambeau will find it difficult, if not impossible to ever assume another commercial loan, the Lake of Torches imbroglio helped freeze the capital markets for all of Indian Country for much of the last couple of years.
Indian gaming enterprises have an obligation to appreciate and help nullify the danger that non-Indian businesses and their attorneys inadvertently pose to tribal sovereignty. Indeed, the days of tribal lawyers playing ‘‘hide the ball’’ in contract negotiations may need to be a thing of the past. Instead, taking preemptive steps to caution non-Indian businesses to at least hire competent counsel is not only good business, it is very likely necessary to deter the ero- sion of those fundamental principles of law that have allowed Indian gaming to flourish into the present day.
Gabriel "Gabe" Galanda is a partner, and Ryan Dreveskracht an associate, at Galanda Broadman PLLC, of Seattle, an American Indian owned law firm. Gabe is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. He represents tribal governments and businesses and Indians citizens in all matters of controversy and transaction. He can be reached at 206.691.3631 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryan's practice focuses on representing businesses and tribal governments in public affairs, energy, gaming, taxation, and general economic development. He can be reached at 206.909.3842 or email@example.com.