OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) has reached a tentative agreement with four additional Washington State federally recognized tribes: The Cowlitz Indian Tribe; Nisqually Indian Tribe; Spokane Tribe; and Suquamish Tribe. Each tribe has agreed to adopt the proposed compact amendment language negotiated by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for electronic table games. Each proposed compact amendment establishes a new framework for offering electronic table games at each tribe’s gaming facility.
All tentative agreements will have a joint Senate and House Legislative hearing on July 10, 2023. Then, each tentative agreement will go before the Gambling Commission for a vote at the agency’s July 20, 2023 public meeting.
The next steps in this process for these tentative agreements are:
- A joint Legislative hearing will be held by the Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming, & Trade and House Regulated Substances & Gaming Committees on July 10, 2023.
- The Gambling Commission will review and vote at its public meeting on July 20, 2023, and decide whether or not to forward the proposed compact amendment to the Governor.
- If the Commission votes to forward the tribe’s amendment, it will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final consideration and signature.
- Once signed by both the Tribal Chair and the Governor, the tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration and publication in the Federal Register.
- The compact amendment is not final, and electronic table games cannot begin, until it is published in the Federal Register.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 provides that Indian tribes may conduct Class III gaming activities on Indian lands when the gaming is conducted in conformance with a tribal-state compact. RCW 9.46.360 provides that the Gambling Commission negotiate those compacts on behalf of the state. There are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington State. All 29 tribes have a Class III gaming compact with 22 tribes operating 28 gaming facilities in the state.