(The following was released on May 3, 2021 by the Washington State Gambling Commission.)
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Gambling Commission has reached a tentative agreement with the Suquamish Tribe to amend its Class III gaming compact to add sports wagering. The Tribe operates its Class III gaming facility located on the Kitsap Peninsula on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. (Full Amendment here).
This is the second sports wagering tentative agreement in the state and this amendment establishes the framework for sports wagering at the Tribe’s Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.
“I am grateful for the thoughtful and cooperative approach taken by the Tribe and State in reaching this tentative agreement and this compact amendment continues to recognize the Tribe’s sovereignty and successful operation and regulation of gaming,” said Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. “This agreement ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest. Completion of these negotiations allows us to focus more on the black market in our state.”
“We are pleased with the progress of the compact amendment and the partnership it represents with the Governor, Legislature, Gambling Commission and citizens of Washington,” said Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe.
“Revenue from sports wagering will help support the Suquamish Tribe’s important governmental services offered to both tribal members and the non-tribal community. This compact means guests at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will enjoy additional exciting activities while ensuring that sports wagering revenues remain in Washington.”
This amendment allows the Tribe and State the ability to effectively address the Legislature’s primary sports wagering policy concerns now codified in the Gambling Act: licensing, agency funding, regulation, criminal enforcement, money laundering, sport integrity, and responsible and problem gambling.
The Gambling Commission anticipates it will have draft rules to its Commissioners for their review at the agency’s June 10, 2021 public meeting. Details for this meeting can be found on the agency’s website.
For questions for the Suquamish Tribe please contact: Rion Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to: email@example.com.
This tentative agreement must now go through a state and federal approval process. The next steps in this process are:
- Legislative Hearings will be held in the Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs and House Commerce and Gaming Committees.
- The Gambling Commission will view and vote on this compact amendment at June 10, 2021 public hearing. If approved by the agency’s Commissioners, the proposed compact amendment will be forwarded to the Tribal Chair and then the Governor for signature.
- Once signed by both the Tribal Chair and the Governor, the Tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration and publication in the Federal Register.
- The compact amendment is not final, and sports wagering cannot begin, until it is published in the Federal Register.
Washington State was the first state in 2020 to enact a new sports wagering law. The Gambling Act (RCW 9.46) contains all sports wagering state laws, including additional money laundering and sport integrity provisions to protect gambling and sporting events occurring in the state and around the country.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 provides that Indian tribes may conduct Class III gaming activities on Indian lands when the gaming is conducted in conformance with a tribal-state compact. RCW 9.46.360 provides that the Gambling Commission negotiate those compacts on behalf of the state. The Suquamish Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed in January 1995, and this is the fourth amendment.
Brian J. Considine
Legal and Legislative Manager
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 485-8921 (mobile)