Spokane Tribe awaits governor's ruling on off-reservation casino

Artist's rendering of the Spokane Tribe's proposed off-reservation casino in Airway Heights, Washington. Image from STEP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) isn't rushing into a decision on the off-reservation casino proposed by the Spokane Tribe.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the West Plains Mixed-Use Development in Airway Heights under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law gives veto authority to the governor but Inslee's staff told the Associated Press that a decision was weeks, if not months, away.

“It will really help with high unemployment among tribal members,” Chair Carol Evans, who is the first woman to lead the tribe, told the AP. “The revenue will help with health care, scholarships, elder programs and cultural programs.”

Since IGRA became law in 1988, only three tribes have completed both steps of the two-part determination process. One is the Kalispel Tribe, whose Northern Quest Resort and Casino is less than three miles from the Spokane site. The Kalispels oppose the new facility.

Get the Story:
Washington governor to decide casino’s fate (AP 9/8)

Relevant Documents:
BIA Two-Part Determination Letter (June 15, 2015)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Spokane Tribe of Indians West Plains Casino and Mixed Use Project, City of Airway Heights, Spokane County, WA (February 1, 2013)

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Spokane Tribe partners with Hard Rock for off-reservation casino (6/29)
Spokane Tribe faces another hurdle in off-reservation casino bid (6/17)
Spokane Tribe finally wins BIA approval for off-reservation casino (6/16)
Spokane Tribe still waiting on decision for off-reservation casino (6/12)

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