John J. Tipton has been practicing law for 36 years and is rated “AV® Preeminent™” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating a lawyer can receive for both legal ability and ethical standards. He is Of Counsel to the Firm, working to help its gaming clients gain economic benefit from Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. John is internationally recognized as an authority in the regulatory, legal, and operational issues of gaming.
In 1991, while a member of the cabinet of the Governor of Colorado, John was instrumental in drafting the limited gaming legislation in Colorado and was responsible for its implementation. He created and directed the Colorado Division of Gaming, which included licensing, taxation, and regulatory functions. He was also the chief negotiator for the State of Colorado on the Indian gaming compacts with the two federally recognized Indian tribes located in that state.
University of Denver College of Law (J.D. 1974, L.L.M in Taxation 1978).
Colorado State University (B.S. 1968, cum laude)
United States Tax Court
U.S. District Court for Colorado
10th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court
Recognition & Accomplishments
Colorado Governor Roy Romer appointed John to serve in his cabinet as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. In addition to his responsibilities with the Colorado Division of Gaming, John was responsible for all tax matters in Colorado; the Division of Motor Vehicles; the operation and regulation of the Colorado Lottery; the Colorado Division of Racing; and the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division. He was the chief liquor licensing officer for the State of Colorado and also handled numerous disciplinary actions against liquor licensees.
In addition, John served for a period of time in a second role in the governor’s cabinet as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Administration.
John’s expertise has been profiled in various publications including The American Lawyer, American Bar Association Journal, Denver Business, Of Counsel, and Arizona Bar Briefs. John has received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania for his work regarding problem gaming, and the Golden Halo Award twice from Angel Flight West and the Angel Flight West Foundation for his work with persons who need assistance with medical care.
John is a frequent speaker at numerous local, national, and international seminars on international business transactions, business planning, and casino gaming. He is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver College of Law, where he teaches casino gaming law and public policy in relation to casino gaming.
Prior to joining the Firm, John was a partner at, and managing partner, of the Denver law firm of Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw and Harring. After leaving the governor’s cabinet, John was of counsel at the national law firm of Baker and Hostetler. John has been involved in the casino gaming and hospitality industry for 23 years, and has served as CEO, president, and general counsel to several international gaming companies. John currently has his own firm, The Tipton Law Firm, P.C., located in Denver, Colorado.
John is active in numerous local and national charitable activities. He was on the Board of Directors of Angel Flight West and Angel Flight America. He was also one of the original founding members and board members of Grace Flight of America.