Four more federally recognized tribes in Washington State have agreed to go with the proposed electronic table games compact. These include the Suquamish Tribe, Spokane Tribe, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and Nisqually Indian Tribe. The amended compact was proposed by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
Each tribe has a tentative agreement with the Washington State Gambling Commission. The proposed agreement provides a new structure for offering electronic table games.
6-Step Journey to the Publication of the Compact
The tentative agreements will have to go through a series of steps before certification. The first step is complete, that is, drafting the tentative agreements. On July 10, the compact will move to the second step, involving a joint House and Senate hearing.
This meeting will allow the Financial Services, Gaming & Trade, and Senate Business Committees to consider the agreements. The House Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee will also take a look at the agreement.
The third step is scheduled for July 20, 2023. It is a public meeting through which the Gambling Commission will vote on the proposed compact and determine whether it should move to the last two stages.
The public is welcome to submit their comments about the compact by emailing the Washington State Gambling Commission.
The validated agreements will move to the Tribal Chair and the Governor for the last review and signature. If both the Tribal Chair and Governor have signed the agreements, they will be sent to the United States Department of Interior for the last review. The gaming compact will then be published in the Federal Register.
Winning Streak for Tribes
The tribal gaming industry has been taking win after win for the past few weeks. For instance, the largest tribal gaming operator won a sports betting case in Florida last week.
The win, in this case, makes it a blueprint for online sports betting in the country. The Seminole Tribe is the owner and operator of Hard Rock Entertainment.
Another tribe in Kansas also won a 30-year legal battle. Wyandotte Nation in Oklahoma planned to build a casino near Wichita, only to be challenged by the state.
Now, five Washington tribes are in the line for another win. This will encourage other tribes to seek to expand their offerings.
Earlier this year, the Maverick Gaming LLC lost to tribes. The poker game operator hoped that Washington would allow internet sports betting. This would dilute tribes’ revenue, as they are the only operators offering sports betting inside their jurisdictions.
Unfortunately, the District Court in the Western District of Washington sided with the tribes. The court ruled that Maverick Gaming’s litigation was null and void. This is because the lawsuit did not mention all the tribes in the state that offer sports betting.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson noted that the ruling was a major victory for the tribes. Bob also noted that the tribes were successfully regulating sports betting.
If the state passes the electronic table games compact, the tribes will see an increase in their revenues. Moreover, more tribes might seek the expansion of casino gaming.