A plan to construct the 1st tribal casino in the Tri-Cities, Washington, by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is moving into a crucial stage of the process regarding federal validation.

Meaning of the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed casino project:

The lead agency considering the casino proposal by Colville, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), intends to hold a virtual public meeting on April 24 at 6 p.m., to provide comments on the required content of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Additionally, the deadline for written comments is May 3.

The assessments about the environmental impact describe the effect of the mentioned project on the nearby environment, based on information provided by the American Bar Association. However, in America, reports are required for particular projects by federal law. Additionally, the EIS represents a crucial step in considering the project according to the federal and state environmental rules.

As for a summary of what Colville’s proposed casino project, which will occupy 184,200-square-feet will involve, it will involve a hotel equipped with 200 rooms, supporting facilities, restaurants and an event center.

Preparing everything for the possible start of construction:

Supervising the complicated process of placing 165 acres of land owned by the Colville, located off Kartchner Street north of the King City Truck Stop and off Highway 395, into a federal trust, is the BIA. Also regarding the “Fee-to-Trustprocess, it allows the formation of restaurants, the hotel, the casino and linked operations in off-reservation locations according to the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Relatedly, Colville purchased 4 lots totaling over 180 acres of Pasco cultivated land during 2019 particularly to construct a fresh addition of its twelve Tribes casino operation in the Tri-Cities, in addition to a possible water park and tourism center.

In addition, Colville, located approximately 75 miles from Ritzville, manage tribal casinos at Coulee Dam, Lake Chelan and Omak. Those casinos play a significant role in the improvement of the economic status of their total of 8,700 members.

The process of obtaining federal validation officially began in August 2023, when the federal agency received a “Fee-to-Trust” application from Colville. However, Colville formerly signed contracts with Port of Pasco, the Franklin County Sheriff, Franklin County PUD and the city of Pasco to collaborate on services in the future.


The proposed project has its opponents. The most vocal are the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The reason for the opposition is that Yakama manages one casino located in Toppenish and wants to extend to a 2nd location, possibly in the Tri-Cities. It opposes the proposed casino plan by Colville based on territorial grounds, stating that its competition has no right to officially open a casino in the territory ceded by Yakama according to the treaty signed in 1855.

For Colville, Pasco is the traditional native land of few of its constituent tribes, particularly the Palus, and it object to the objections being resolved via the process regarding federal review.

The casino’s future location is on the edge of North Capitol Avenue close to the Kartchner exit an on the north side of the AutoZone warehouse. Moreover, the tribes manage a miniature visitor center in a trailer on the miniature lot facing Kartchner, and is located on the other side of Love’s Truck Stop.

Although there are privately owned casinos in the Tri-Cities, there are no tribal owned businesses. Supporting that statement is that the Legends Casino & Hotel in Toppenish is managed by the Yakama, and the Wildhorse Casino and Resort close to Pendleton, city in Oregon, is managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation.