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Washington State Tribes Reach Tentative Agreement on Electronic Gaming  - Newstbt.com

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 7 August 2023
2 min to read

Regulators in Washington have come to tentative arrangements that would give five tribes permission to introduce electronic table games at their casinos in the state.

This week, the Washington State Gambling Commission revealed proposed amendments to its gaming compacts with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Spokane Tribe, and Suquamish Tribe which would permit electronic gaming to be offered by tribes. This follows the June agreement with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for the implementation of such amendments. If the said amendments pass, patrons of Nisqually Red Wind Casino located in Olympia, Washington (owned by the Nisqually Indian Tribe) would be allowed to enjoy electronic versions of blackjack, roulette, craps, or any other table game available in the gaming compacts. Moreover, a single electronic gaming terminal may permit multiple concurrent games with a maximum wager of $500 per game. Hearings will be scheduled for further consideration of the proposed amendments. (Image: 500nations.com)

Hearings Planned

On July 10, the Washington State House of Representatives and State Senate will convene for a joint hearing to review proposed amendments to the state’s current Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988. Two weeks later, the Gambling Commission will put the proposed changes to vote in a public meeting. Assuming the amendments pass, they will be sent to the tribal chairs and governor for signatures. Then, the US Interior Secretary must review and ultimately approve the amendments in order for them to take effect. However, this process may take several months or longer to publish in the Federal Register.

Washington is home to 29 federally recognized tribes, all of which have an active compact enabling them to conduct Class III gaming on Indian lands. Of these tribes, 22 operate a total of 28 casinos in the state. If the above amendments are approved, these casinos will be authorized to have higher wagers and credit allotted.

Higher Wagers, Credit Authorized

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposal is further reaching than those of other tribes. Apart from electronic gaming, it would allow for wagers with higher limits and the granting of credit to customers – issues already in other tribal compacts. The agreement would also increase the Tribe’s contributions to public programs, including problem gambling. “We are seeing this Compact amendment as a means to update and enhance our 7 Cedars operations and gaming floor to introduce modern and exciting options to our customers,” said Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman W. Ron Allen when the agreement was announced last month. “These new electronic products will bring in much-needed revenue to provide even more services to our Jamestown community on the Olympic Peninsula.”

The respectful and significant relationship between our Tribe and the State of Washington is illustrated by this collaborative negotiation process. This amendment to the Compact will ensure we maintain a well-regulated gaming operation in partnership with Washington.

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Updated: 7 August 2023
2 min to read

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