Gaming and Hospitality

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Honigman's Gaming and Hospitality industry group was established in response to the dramatic and recent growth in the gaming and hospitality industries in Michigan and other states across the nation. We are specifically organized and staffed to provide our gaming and hospitality clientele with the full line of legal services they need to succeed and prosper in this very dynamic, heavily regulated, and multifaceted industry.

Honigman's Gaming and Hospitality industry group is an interdisciplinary team comprised of highly experienced attorneys and paraprofessionals from our Government Relations and Regulatory, Real Estate, Corporate, Environmental, Intellectual Property, Tax, Labor and Employment, Business Immigration, and Litigation departments and practice groups. The group's attorneys were selected because of their knowledge and experience in the various different areas of law relating to the gaming and hospitality industry and includes attorneys who formerly served in high-profile industry-related government regulatory positions and helped author, implement, administer, or enforce many of the state and federal laws that currently govern the gaming and liquor control side of the industry.

By incorporating highly experienced and knowledgeable attorneys from our other practice areas and departments, the Honigman Gaming and Hospitality industry group is uniquely staffed to capably advise and represent the many different types of participants in the gaming and hospitality industry, from tribal and nontribal governments, investors, developers, owners, and operators to manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors of goods and services to the industry, regarding the wide array of diverse legal issues on which they may need advice or representation.

Our Services

Honigman's Gaming and Hospitality attorneys know and understand these industries and focus on the unique business objectives and legal needs of our clients. We rapidly respond to those needs with the appropriate level of required legal service. To that end, our Gaming and Hospitality industry group is staffed with attorneys who have the knowledge, skill, judgment, and seasoned experience to professionally and competently handle both large, complex legal matters and small, more routine matters in a prompt, practical, and cost-effective manner that produces the best possible result for our client. Through our advice and representation, we strive to not only obtain the best possible result for our clients, but to also help them avoid unnecessary legal problems in their industry-related activities and affairs. Some of the specific matters in which we provide advice and representation to our gaming and hospitality clients include:

  • Business entity selection, organization, and operations; financing and securities offerings; SEC reporting and compliance; and tax guidance, return preparation, Title 31 reporting and compliance, and tax hearings and appeals
  • Mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcy, and business reorganization issues involving casinos, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality or gaming enterprises
  • Real estate acquisition and development; zoning and land use; construction contract issues; and building, environmental, and public health and safety code requirements and compliance
  • Preparation and submission of required gaming, liquor, and business license and permit applications, registrations, and approval requests to state gaming and liquor authorities and other local, state, and federal regulatory agencies
  • Acquisition, sale, and transfer of liquor licenses; representation of liquor license applicants and licensees in licensing and regulatory compliance investigations, hearings, and appeals; and advice and representation on other issues related to the exportation, importation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, including advertising, promotion, and marketing issues involving liquor or gaming
  • Gaming and pari-mutuel horse racing licensing and regulatory compliance matters, including representation of gaming and horse racing license applicants and licensees in licensing and regulatory compliance investigations, hearings, and appeals
  • Tribal land into trust applications and proceedings; Tribal-State compact and management contract negotiations and enforcement actions; analysis and development of tribal gaming regulatory structures and related policies, procedures, manuals, and training regarding background investigations, compliance inspections, audits, and enforcement; analysis and drafting of tribal gaming ordinances, resolutions, regulations, and internal control standards and systems; and representation of Indian tribes in National Indian Gaming Commission background and regulatory compliance investigations, audits, gaming ordinance and management contract-approval proceedings, Class II technologic aid advisory opinions and approvals, state compact compliance investigations and audits, and related state and federal hearings and appeals
  • Insurance issues, including Dram Shop liability and surety bond and insurance coverage requirements for gaming and liquor licensees
  • Labor and employment matters, including employer defense against discrimination claims (age, sex, race, national origin, religion, and ADA), wrongful discharge and FMLA suits, breach of contract and OSHA/MIOSHA claims, and restrictive covenant disputes and trade secret protection claims
  • Intellectual property, patent, copyright, and trademark matters, including the patenting of new game hardware, systems, associated equipment, and other new gaming and hospitality technology; the copyrighting of game software and other gaming- and hospitality-related intellectual property; and the registering of trademarks for unique trade names of gaming, hotel, restaurant, and other hospitality enterprises and products
  • Analysis and drafting of tribal and nontribal legislation, regulations, internal control standards and systems, and regulatory compliance and training manuals
  • Litigation representation in a wide range of diverse state and federal administrative, trial, and appellate matters, including litigation involving gaming and liquor licensing and regulatory compliance, corporate derivative suits, breach of contract and protection of trade, secured transactions and securities, condemnation, zoning, various aspects of construction litigation, environmental compliance and clean-up, ERISA preemption, insurance coverage, bankruptcy, employer defense against wrongful discharge and employment discrimination claims; tort and product liability defense; and white collar criminal defense
Our Clients

We advise and represent a broad range of diverse clients in the hospitality and gaming industry, including: tribal and nontribal governments; investors, developers, owners, construction contractors, management contractors, and operators of tribal and nontribal casinos, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality enterprises; and manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, and distributors of gaming-related and non-gaming-related goods and services to the gaming and hospitality industry.

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