Bill Curran, managing partner of Ballard Spahr’s Las Vegas office and a former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, is representing Las Vegas taverns that are under fire from major casinos that contend the small businesses are violating laws by acting more like mini-casinos than bars. Big casinos are pressing licensing authorities to force the taverns to add full-service bars and more dining tables.

Mr. Curran said the new regulations constitute protectionism and could force the closure of hundreds of taverns. "Big guys (stepping on) little guys — that's the issue," he said.