Indian Gaming

Many Native American tribes across the United States operate gaming facilities to support government operations, fund programs and services, promote tribal economic development, and provide for the general welfare of tribal members. While Indian gaming has been successful on the whole, its success has varied widely across tribes and over time. Nevertheless, the impacts of gaming have been felt both on and off Indian lands.

Nathan Associates conducts research and analysis to assess the economic and fiscal impacts of Indian gaming on tribes, competitors, surrounding communities, and the economy. We also evaluate the impacts of outside forces—such as the economic climate, competition, public policy, and alleged unlawful conduct—on Indian gaming facilities and tribes.

Our Services

Nathan Associates provides a wide range of economic consulting services related to Indian gaming, including

  • Market assessments
  • Feasibility studies
  • Public policy analysis
  • Economic and fiscal impact studies
  • Tribal impact analyses
  • Tribal needs assessments
  • Survey design, implementation, and data analysis
  • Expert research and analysis in litigation and regulatory matters
  • Assistance with public and government relations efforts, including publicizing our findings

We provide a variety of customizable deliverables depending on the needs of a client and the intended use, including expert reports and testimony in litigation matters, and studies and presentations in confidential and public non-litigation matters.

Our Experience

Nathan Associates’ experts have a reputation for objective, comprehensive, and insightful research and analysis of Indian gaming. Our work is grounded in economic theory, guided by experience, supported by data and market research, and customized to the circumstances of each matter. We study market conditions, regulations, legal decisions, public policies, and political issues affecting Indian gaming so that they can be properly considered and assessed in our analyses. Despite the complexity of our work, we convey our methods and findings in straightforward terms so that they can be easily understood.  For all of these reasons, our experts are routinely called upon to analyze complex issues and disputed matters, and their work is widely accepted and well respected by the gaming industry, governments, regulators, academics, consultants, courts, the media, and the public.

Our experts have researched and analyzed many facets of Indian gaming.

  • All 28 states in which Indian gaming exists
  • Existing and proposed gaming facilities
  • Introduction, development, and operation of gaming facilities
  • National, state, regional, and local markets
  • Class II and III gaming
  • Non-gaming amenities at gaming facilities, including hotels, restaurants, retail, entertainment, spas, meeting space, and convention centers
  • Impacts on tribal governments and tribal members, competitors, other businesses, non-tribal governments, gaming markets, and the economy

Our experts have examined a wide array of issues related to Indian gaming:

  • Impacts of planned and existing gaming facilities on tribes and surrounding communities
  • Gaming facility performance
  • Public policies, including legislation, regulations, and ballot propositions
  • Land-in-trust gaming applications, including for off-reservation casinos
  • Gaming-related agreements, such as compacts, amendments to compacts, and agreements with local governments
  • Revenue sharing
  • Game performance
  • Damages resulting from alleged unlawful conduct, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of good faith and fair dealing, anticompetitive conduct, unfair competition, and tortious interference with current and prospective business
  • Competition, market power, and harm to competition in antitrust litigation matters
  • Impacts of and to other segments of the gaming industry and associated industries

Of particular note is previous experience conducting independent economic analysis of proposed regulatory changes on behalf of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Nathan Associates’ experts have conducted Indian gaming research and analysis in a variety of contexts, including

  • Litigation, arbitration, and mediation
  • Regulatory proceedings
  • Public policy matters
  • Public and government relations
  • Business planning and operations
  • Economic development

In addition to consulting, our experts regularly conduct independent scholarly research and analysis of Indian gaming, publishing articles and studies, and presenting at academic, professional, and industry conferences. Most notable is the annual Indian Gaming Industry Report, a nationally recognized report that provides nationwide and state-by-state Indian gaming data and analyses. The report is widely cited, including by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Our consulting and scholarly research and analyses have been relied on by the gaming industry, tribal and non-tribal governments, the investment community, academics, and other gaming consultants, and have been used in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, National Indian Gaming Commission, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and World Trade Organization.

Our experts’ work is regularly cited in trade publications such as Indian Gaming, Casino Journal, Global Gaming Business, and Casino Enterprise Management; law and economics publications including Gaming Law Review and Economics, Gaming Research & Review Journal, and American Gaming Lawyer; and general media including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Economist, Bloomberg, Reuters, National Public Radio, Indian Country Today, Las Vegas Review-Journal, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, ABC News, and Forbes.

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