Casino Stalker | Opinion

Editorial: Decision opens door for more off-reservation casinos

Carole Evans, the chairwoman of the Spokane Tribe, speaks at an event to announce the approval of an off-reservation casino in Washington. Photo from Spokane Tribe Economic Project / Facebook

Washington is home to one off-reservation casino, operated by the Kalispel Tribe, and another one, to be owned by the Spokane Tribe, is on the way. While it took 18 years for the second to gain approval, The Seattle Times thinks it will be easier for tribes to do the same in the future:
Gov. Jay Inslee says he wants the growth of gambling in the state to be “slow and limited.” But by approving a Spokane Tribe casino in Airway Heights, he might have made it easier for the opposite to happen.

The addition of one more Native American gambling operation to the 29 already here is not the issue. What’s more dangerous is the precedent Inslee’s approval may set for other tribes to expand their operations off reservations.

Inslee says that is not going to happen, that the circumstances in the Spokane approval are unlikely to arise again.

The tribe already operates two casinos, one at the confluence of the Columbia and Spokane rivers and the other in Chewelah — neither within 40 miles of Spokane. The tribe reports the support it gets from these operations dropped from $7 million in some years to less than $20,000 in 2009.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Precedent set for off-reservation casinos — now, scrutiny is needed (The Seattle Times 6/18)

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