Marshall Investments Corp. v. Harrah’s — N.Y. Courts Strike Tortious Interference with Contract Claim on Void Gaming Management Contract

Here is the opinion in Marshall Investments Corp. v. Harrah’s Operating Company, Inc. (N.Y. A.D.) (unpublished), pages 6-7 of the pdf.

An excerpt:

The subject pledge agreement did not constitute a management contract which required the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission (25 CFR 502.15; cf. Machal, Inc. v Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, 387 F Supp 2d 659, 666-667 [2005]). However, because it changes the Tribe’s obligations, requiring them to make payments into escrow, and alters their liabilities, giving the right to sue and a veto over certain modifications of a separate management agreement to plaintiffs, the pledge agreement is a modification or assignment of rights under the management agreement. As such, it is void because it was never approved by the commission (25 CFR 533.7). Since the underlying contract is void, plaintiffs cannot recover for tortious interference with that contract (see Lama Holding Co. v Smith Barney, 88 NY2d 413, 424 [1996]).