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Contact Chris

4400 Two Union Square
601 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101
T: 206.777.7427

Christine M. Masse

Partner

Christine M. Masse, a partner, joined Miller Nash in 1999. She is the leader of the government and regulatory affairs practice group and specializes in representing businesses in highly regulated industries with their transactional, regulatory, and public policy needs. Chris also leads Miller Nash’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on gaming, regulatory, real property, construction, financing, tax, and economic development issues. She maintains a practice before the Washington State Gambling Commission relating to licensing issues and the approval and ongoing regulatory oversight of casino properties and before the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Chris also has experience in governmental affairs. She is a registered lobbyist in Washington State and has successfully lobbied for the passage of legislation in various areas.

Before joining the firm, Chris was a judicial extern for the Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, U.S. District Court, Seattle, Washington. In 1997, she clerked for the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney, in Springfield, Illinois.

Chris is a frequent contributor to Miller Nash's Native American law blog, nativeamericanlawfocus.com.

Representative Experience

Successfully closed $215 million syndicated credit facility for tribe and tribal enterprise to expand tribal casino and build hotel and resort and handled ongoing issues between bank and tribe. Handled contracts with architects, contractors, and other construction-related vendors, addressed unique bonding and security issues related to tribe’s unique status as sovereign, and negotiated ongoing construction-related relationships through fast-track construction from design to occupancy. Handled negotiations with local government for utilities and other issues. Handled franchise and other agreements for businesses locating in resort, contracts with vendors, gaming and liquor-related licensing and regulatory issues, and other tribal casino resort-related matters.
Successfully closed $210 million senior secured credit facility for tribe and related tribal enterprises to refinance existing senior secured credit facility and provide additional capital. Credit facility consisted of a $205 million institutional term loan and a $5 million revolving credit facility. Handled all aspects of the financing on behalf of the tribe and its tribal enterprises, including unique security issues related to the tribe's status as a sovereign nation, declination letter from the National Indian Gaming Commission, and investor-related gaming licensing issues before the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Successfully negotiated tribal-state gaming compacts and amendments thereto, including negotiation of Washington State’s Appendix X2.
Successfully defended tribes before the NIGC through investigations, proceedings, and settlement. Obtained declination letters on management contracts and sole proprietary interest issues in tribal financing post-Lac du Flambeau.
Helped develop inaugural model memorandum of agreement with Washington State Liquor Control Board related to liquor licensing in Indian country and negotiated first such memorandum on tribe’s behalf. Negotiated tribal liquor agreements for ownership and operation of tribal liquor stores. Defended tribe in liquor licensing dispute with local jurisdiction through licensing application process, administrative hearing, and court proceedings.