Tribal Gaming Law Program Is Coming To UNLV

Written By Derek Helling on September 29, 2022
carleton tahsuda unlv tribal gaming law

As tribal casinos in the United States expand their operations, compliance with evolving best practices and navigating relationships with state governments becomes more critical. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas is taking on the role of preparing law students to fill the need for the tribal gaming law experts those situations create.

The William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV has enlisted two industry veterans to lead the new program. The pair brings experience not only in tribal gaming but online gambling as well to help students guide tribal gaming into the future.

UNLV initiates tribal gaming law program

Howard Stutz of The Nevada Independent was the first to report on the new program. Stutz says the Boyd School of Law has selected Sightline’s Jennifer Carleton and Navigators Global’s John Tahsuda to lead the Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program.

According to Stutz, Carleton spent over a decade “in private gaming law practice” in addition to a decade as general counsel for the Oneida Tribe of Indians in Wisconsin. Additionally, Carleton previously served as the chair of the Indian Gaming Section of Wisconsin’s bar association. Sightline is a payment processing firm that works with gambling companies.

Tahsuda’s credentials include serving as a senior counselor to the US Dept. of the Interior and staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Furthermore, Tahsuda is a former general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Association. Tribal gaming law has particular relevance for Tahsuda personally as he is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.

Navigators Global is a government affairs firm in Washington, D.C. Both Carleton and Tahsuda will be tasked with creating a curriculum for the program and leading instruction. Due to UNLV’s existing connections with an existing tribal gaming authority, participants in the program might be able to take advantage of networking opportunities as well.

Program strengthens UNLV’s connection to tribal gaming

In April the San Manuel Entertainment Authority, a holding of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, formed a partnership with UNLV to benefit the university’s International Gaming Institute. The primary focus of that faction of UNLV is promoting responsible gambling.

The partnership goes back further than that, however, as the San Manuel Band donated $9 million to UNLV to support programs like this tribal gaming law initiative in February 2020. While UNLV has not stated whether it is using any of those funds specifically to support the new program, the need for attorneys with expertise in gaming law is legitimate. Gaming authorities like the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority could soon be among the benefactors of this program.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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