Editorial: Reject Spokane Tribe off-reservation casino project

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

Citing the presence of the Kalispel Tribe, newspaper calls on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) to say no to the off-reservation casino proposed by the Spokane Tribe.
Rejecting the Spokane proposal may seem unfair because Washington in 1998 approved a similar deal for the Kalispel Tribe, allowing the roughly 430-person tribe to build an off-reservation casino in the same area.

But the Kalispel Tribe deal was an extraordinary case — the tribe has a small, remote reservation with few natural resources and limited opportunity to build because of flood plain restrictions. On top of that, the Spokane Tribe had already built a casino in the area.

If tribes are allowed to operate casinos off reservation with fewer gambling restrictions that would also be unfair to nontribal gambling and entertainment operations.

Besides, the Spokane region has plenty of gambling opportunities — per capita, the market is more saturated than Atlantic City, according to a study the Kalispel Tribe commissioned.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Proposed Spokane casino would set bad precedent (The Seattle Times 11/22)

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 faces another hurdle in off-reservation casino bid (6/17)
Spokane Tribe finally wins BIA approval for off-reservation casino (6/16)
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