Litigation | Openings & Closings

Cowlitz Tribe getting closer to April opening of long-awaited casino

Chairman Bill Iyall of the Cowlitz Tribe poses with a newly-arrived slot machine at the ilani Casino Resort in Washington. Photo: ilani

The Cowlitz Tribe is two months away from debuting its long-anticipated casino in Washington.

The ilani Casino Resort, whose name comes from the Salish word for "sing," is due to open on April 17. The tribe has hired 70 percent of the 1,100 employees needed at the facility and is almost finished with $55 million in infrastructure projects related to the development, The Longview Daily News reported.

"We want this to be a sought-after facility," Kara Fox-LaRose, the general manager and president of the casino, said at a Lion’s Club lunch meeting on Tuesday, the paper reported. "We want people to leave and tell their friends and family about us and come back and visit over and over again."

But non-Indian opponents are still hoping they can derail the casino with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is whether the Bureau of Indian Affairs should have approved the land-into-trust application for the casino.

The Department of Justice has until February 17 to respond to the petition in the case, according to the docket sheet. Presumably, the Trump administration will defend the BIA's handling of the matter.

Read More on the Story:
Ilani casino construction progresses, hundreds of employees hired (The Longview Daily News 2/7)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon v. Jewell (July 29, 2016)

Department of the Interior Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

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