Tribal Compacts Allow For Electronic Table Games In Washington

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on July 7, 2023
Casino Floor with Electronic Table Games and Washington tribal gambling

The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) announced tentative gaming compacts with four more Native American Tribes. The compacts will expand Washington State gambling allowing for new forms of casino games at tribal facilities. 

Each agreement will have a joint Senate and House Legislative hearing on July 10, 2023. Once each hearing is complete, the agreements will go before the Gambling Commission for a vote on July 20.

New compacts expand gaming in Washington

The following tribes agreed to adopt a proposed compact amendment. Each amendment allows for electronic table games.

  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • Spokane Tribe
  • Suquamish Tribe

In April, the Cowlitz Tribe announced it was ending its partnership with the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribe to run the ilani Casino Resort in Washington.

According to a press release by the WSGC, each compact establishes a new framework allowing tribes to offer electronic table games at each tribe’s gaming facility. 

There are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington State. Of those, 22 tribes operate 28 gaming facilities in the state. However, all 29 tribes have a Class III gaming compact with the state. 

Next steps in tribal compact amendment 

As mentioned, the gaming commission outlined the next steps beginning with the July 10 legislative hearing. Two committees will hold that hearing:

  • Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming, & Trade
  • House Regulated Substances & Gaming Committees

If approved, the gaming commission will vote at its public meeting on July 20 and decide whether or not to forward the proposed compact amendments to the governor. 

Should the commission vote to forward the amendments, each compact will be sent to the tribal chair for final consideration. Once signed by each chair and the governor, the tribes will submit the amendments to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration. 

It should be noted, electronic table games cannot begin until all amendments are finalized and published in the Federal Register. 

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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