Bar Admissions
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., University of Southern California, 1972
  • B.S., Finance, Cum Laude, University of Southern California, 1968
Bar Admissions
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., University of Southern California, 1972
  • B.S., Finance, Cum Laude, University of Southern California, 1968

Professional Background

A. J. “Bud” Hicks is Senior Counsel in the Gaming and Administrative Law Group with McDonald Carano.

He’s very knowledgeable about everything; he’s the be all and end all of gaming law.”

  – Chambers USA 2021

Mr. Hicks is known as one of Nevada’s most experienced gaming law practitioners, receiving the distinguished Senior Statesman ranking in Gaming & Licensing from Chambers USA.  Throughout his career, he has focused his practice in the areas of gaming law and related corporate, litigation, and transactional matters, representing many premier national and international resort gaming operators and gaming equipment suppliers, as well as Nevada’s largest Native American gaming operation.

Due to his significant experience in the gaming industry, Mr. Hicks has been called upon to serve as an expert witness on gaming law matters, published numerous articles on gaming issues, and testified before the U.S. Congress and the Nevada State Legislature on gaming matters. He served as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nevada on gaming matters and as counsel to the Nevada Gaming Commission in a landmark case that upheld the constitutionality of Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure and that helped rid Las Vegas’ gaming industry of the last vestiges of organized crime. As a result of his extensive regulatory experience, he often assists his clients on compliance matters and other sensitive licensing and regulatory issues.

Mr. Hicks was also recently honored to accept a Presidential Appointment to serve as the United States Representative to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bi-state agency created by a Compact between the States of California and Nevada, then ratified by the U.S. Congress. The TRPA is charged with regional planning, development and redevelopment oversight, regulatory enforcement, and implementation of environmental protection and restoration programs for the Lake Tahoe region.

Gaming & Administrative Law

Mr. Hicks has more than 40 years of experience handling matters relating to the gaming industry as it has expanded and grown throughout the United States and internationally. He has represented many individuals and entities proposing to enter into or expand within the gaming industry in Nevada and elsewhere; represented lenders dealing with gaming operators, including lenders involved in financial restructurings of gaming companies; assisted his gaming clients on major transactions; and has worked on complex gaming licensing matters for private and public companies, as well as high net worth individuals involved in the gaming industry throughout America and internationally.

Mr. Hicks has been a Partner in McDonald Carano and Chairman of the Gaming Practice Group for over 40 years. He currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Firm and consults with participants in the gaming industry, including companies and persons who provide services or products to the gaming industry. Mr. Hicks also consults with McDonald Carano’s other practice group lawyers on select gaming and transactional matters where his extensive experience and contacts in the gaming industry may be useful. In addition to these services, Mr. Hicks has served on Gaming Compliance Committees for numerous gaming companies over the years, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Gaming Compliance Committee of one of America’s largest regional gaming operators.

Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers USA Guide “Senior Statespeople” Gaming & Licensing Law (2020, 2021)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV PreeminentTM Rating (since 1984)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Administrative/Regulatory Law, Business Organizations, Gaming Law (2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© “Lawyer of the Year” Gaming Law (2012, 2018, 2021)
  • Super Lawyers Magazine “Mountain States Super Lawyer”Gaming Law, Business/Corporate (2007-2021)
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Legal Elite” (2012)
  • Member, Counselors of IAGA (1986-present)
  • Founding Trustee, Past President and Member, International Association of Gaming Advisors (1980-present)
  • Founding Chairman, Nevada Bar Association Gaming Law Section
  • Past President, American Bar Association Gaming Law Committee

Community Engagement

  • Presidential Appointee to the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2018-present)
  • Member, California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission (2007-09)
  • Honorary Firefighter, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District (2008)
  • Board Member & President, Glenbrook Homeowners Association (Lake Tahoe)  (1999-2014)
  • Member, Advisory Board, UNLV Gaming Law Journal, William S. Boyd  School of Law
  • Member, Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission (2011-2014)
  • Chairman, Nevada 150 Foundation (2012-18)
  • Published author of fictionalized works inspired by real gaming events and characters, including Fortune’s Trail – A Nevada Story and The Count Room

Attorney News

Five McDonald Carano Attorneys Receive “Lawyer of the Year Award” from Best Lawyers in America

McDonald Carano proudly announces that five of our attorneys received the prestigious “Lawyer of the Year” award in their geographic region and specialty area of practice from The Best Lawyers…

15 McDonald Carano Attorneys Selected as 2021 Mountain States Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Las Vegas, Nevada, June 3, 2021 – McDonald Carano LLP is pleased to announce that eleven attorneys from the firm are recognized as 2021 Mountain States Super Lawyers and four…

38 McDonald Carano Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers in America 2021

August 20, 2020 – McDonald Carano LLP is pleased to announce that 38 of our attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America…

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