Bar Admissions
  • Nevada, 1972
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
  • Nevada, 1972
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

One of Nevada’s most experienced gaming law practitioners, Mr. Hicks’ primary areas of practice are gaming law and related corporate, litigation, and transactional matters. His clients include many well-known Nevada resort gaming operators and gaming equipment suppliers and Nevada’s largest Native American gaming operation. He has represented publicly traded gaming companies and their controlling persons, as well as many privately owned gaming establishments and their owners on gaming matters in the State of Nevada and other jurisdictions.

Mr. Hicks has also consulted on gaming matters for major investment banking firms and commercial lenders. He frequently serves as a Nevada counsel on large transactional matters and related financings to companies involved in the gaming industry. Although based in Reno, Mr. Hicks also works out of McDonald Carano’s Las Vegas office, and many of his clients and their matters are located in that area.

Mr. Hicks has served 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 and the Nevada Gaming Commission in a landmark case that 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.

Gaming & Administrative Law

Mr. Hicks has more than 40 years of experience dealing with gaming matters, including counseling and representing people and entities proposing to enter the gaming industry; lenders dealing with gaming operators, including lenders involved in financial restructurings of gaming companies; private and public companies involved in the gaming industry; and high net worth individuals involved in the gaming industry throughout America. He represents such clients in all gaming matters, including licensing, compliance, and operational matters subject to gaming regulation. Mr. Hicks also works with manufacturers and distributors of gaming devices and gaming systems and with Native American gaming operations. He is often called on to assist lenders and other interested parties in creditor proceedings involving licensed gaming companies.

Business Entities & Transactions

Not limiting himself to companies in the gaming industry, Mr. Hicks is also experienced in the formation, operation, and financing of business entities of all types. He works with numerous Nevada corporations and their out-of-state counsel on local matters, including questions of corporate law and litigation matters. As a result of his extensive experience in the gaming industry and his experience as a chief deputy attorney general for the state, Mr. Hicks represents various parties and companies involved in corporate and business disputes in the various state and federal courts in Nevada.


Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Band 1 – Gaming & Licensing
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV PreeminentTM Rating (since 1984)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©Gaming Law (since 2003)
  • Super Lawyers – Gaming Law
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Legal Elite”
  • Member, Counselors of IAGA (since 1986)
  • Founding Trustee and Past President, International Association of Gaming Advisors
  • Founding Chairman, Nevada Bar Association Gaming Law Section
  • Past President, Gaming Law Section of American Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Non-Voting Member of the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
  • Member, California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission (2007-2009)
  • Member, Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Oversight Commission (2009-2010)
  • 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 to present
  • Published author of fictionalized works inspired by real gaming events and characters, including Fortune’s Trail – A Nevada Story and The Count Room

Recent Representative Matters

  • Represented a family owned company in the purchase and licensure of a Las Vegas Strip hotel casino.
  • Represented Boyd Gaming Corporation in the acquisition of three Las Vegas hotel casino properties and in obtaining related gaming licenses and approvals.
  • Assisted Eldorado Resorts, Inc., in the mergers and acquisitions of two regional gaming companies, expanding their gaming operations to 20 locations in 10 states, and in obtaining related gaming licenses and approvals.
  • Represented two multi-regional publicly traded gaming companies on major financings and related pledges of gaming properties.
  • Represented several non-gaming publicly traded companies on matters of Nevada law relating to securities offerings.
  • Assisted a consortium of lenders in the successful imposition of a court-appointed Receiver over and subsequent foreclosure upon a major Las Vegas gaming resort and handled related gaming and business licenses and approvals.
  • Represents Nevada’s largest Native-American owned casino.
  • Serves on the Gaming Regulatory Compliance Committees of (1) a multi-regional publicly traded gaming company, (2) a publicly traded company that operates truck and automobile service centers throughout North America including some with gaming operations, and (3) a private equity fund holding significant gaming interests.

Attorney News

McDonald Carano Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©

August 20, 2018 – McDonald Carano is pleased to announce new recognition in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.  Attorneys recognized include: Matthew C. Addison, Partner, Commercial…

McDonald Carano Attorney A.J. “Bud” Hicks Appointed to Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency by President Trump

May 22, 2018 Reno, NV – McDonald Carano is pleased to announce that President Donald J. Trump has appointed McDonald Carano Senior Counsel A.J. “Bud” Hicks to the Governing Board of…

President Trump Appoints A.J. ‘Bud’ Hicks to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Board, May 17, 1981 STATELINE — U.S. President Donald Trump has appointed A.J. “Bud” Hicks to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board. Hicks, a resident of Reno since 1957,…

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