Business Deals | Litigation | NIGC
Lac du Flambeau deal was unique in tribal gaming industry

A gaming debt case involving the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin probably won't have a big e impact on the tribal casino industry, experts say.

The tribe used a $50 million bond to finance the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino and pay for an out-of-state gaming project that eventually failed. A federal judge said the tribe doesn't have to repay the money because the deal was never approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The ruling caused alarm in the banking and tribal gaming industry. "Every single lender that I know went through their entire portfolio," Kristi Jackson, the chief executive of Tribal Financial Advisors, told The Wall Street Journal.

But Jackson and other experts said the Lac du Flambeau deal was unique and said they haven't found similar arrangements in Indian Country. Most firms that do business with tribes structure their deals in a certain way to avoid the NIGC issue.

Wells Fargo Bank, which is representing the lender, Saybrook Capital, has filed a notice of appeal in the case. The tribe still owed $46.6 million on the bond.

Get the Story:
Tribal-Casino Loans Are Tested by Ruling (The Wall Street Journal 5/12)

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Bank appeals decision over Lac du Flambeau gaming debt (5/3)