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Home » News » Press Releases » Gambling Commission, Suquamish Indian Tribe reach tentative agreement on gaming compact amendment

Gambling Commission, Suquamish Indian Tribe reach tentative agreement on gaming compact amendment

Posted on:  May 12, 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Suquamish Tribe and the Washington State Gambling Commission have reached a tentative agreement to amend the Tribe’s Class III gaming compact. The proposed amendments include new provisions that will provide new and expanded gaming opportunities for guests at the Tribe’s Clearwater Resort Casino, provide for continued cooperation to promote responsible gaming, and increase the Tribe’s contributions to the community. (Full Amendment Attached).

“We are glad to reach this agreement with the Suquamish Tribe,” said Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. “These revisions adopt existing provisions of other gaming compacts recently approved by the Commission.”

"The Gaming Compact between Washington State and the Suquamish Tribe has been vital to our economic and cultural resurgence since the signing of our original agreement in 1995. These new compact amendments, like the past ones, build upon our legal and political relationship bringing benefits to both parties through investment in responsible gaming, charitable giving and addressing community impact."

This tentative agreement allows for: a maximum of 125 gaming tables in one gaming facility or a combination of two facilities;  a designated area for 25% of table games in operation to offer up to $1,000 wagers and limited tables can offer up to $5,000 wagers after customer screening; the operation of 3,000 player terminals in one gaming facility or a combination of two facilities; and $30 wagers at the player terminals.

The changes also allow for extension of credit to qualified customers, based on screening criteria set out in the appendix, and documented in a memorandum of understanding.

In exchange for these operational improvements, the Tribe has agreed to work with the State to expand and maintain the responsible gaming program, to provide additional funding for problem gambling treatment, and to provide additional funding for community impact and charitable contributions.

Finally, this agreement adds State Gaming Employee Registration verification as an alternative to State Certification of employees. When, implemented the Tribal Gaming Agency will still license employees and then register them with the State. It also adds the ability to work on a pilot program to find an alternative to the annual regulatory fee process currently in Compact, and establishes a moratorium on additional changes in this new appendix until six months after Problem Gambling Task Force completes its report.

Next Procedural Steps:

  • Formal notification about the proposed compact amendment has been conveyed to the Governor, Legislature and others.
  • The Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs and House Commerce and Gaming Committees will hold a joint hearing on May 19, 2021 to review this compact amendment.
  • The Gambling Commission will vote at its public meeting on June 10, 2021 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 the Tribal Chair signs the amendment, it will be sent to the Governor for final consideration and signature.
  • After obtaining the signatures of the Tribal Chair and the Governor, the Tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration, signature and publication 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. The Suquamish Indian Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed in January 1995, and this is the fifth amendment.

For questions for the Suquamish Tribe please contact: Rion Ramirez at: rionramirez@clearwatercasino.com.

Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to: compactcomments@wsgc.wa.gov.

Media Contact: 

Brian J. Considine
Legal and Legislative Manager
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 485-8921 (mobile)
Brian.considine@wsgc.wa.gov