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Contact Chris

2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98121
T: 206.777.7427

Christine M. Masse

Partner

Christine M. Masse, a partner, joined Miller Nash Graham & Dunn 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 Graham & Dunn’s tribal team, providing counsel to various Northwest Native American tribes and organizations on gaming, regulatory, real property, construction, financing, tax, liquor, marijuana, 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 on liquor and marijuana matters.

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 Graham & Dunn'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 negotiated tribal-state gaming compacts and amendments thereto, including negotiation of Washington State’s Appendix X2 and subsequent amendment.
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.
Analyzed various state taxes, including sales, excise, property, and business and occupations taxes, and their application to tribes and nontribal enterprises doing business in Indian country in order to advise tribe on optimal structures for tribal and tribal/nontribal enterprises in Indian country.