On July 3, the Washington State Gambling Commission, Washington’s gambling regulatory agency, revealed that it had struck a tentative agreement with 4 extra WA federally recognized tribes, such as the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Spokane Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe. Additionally, all of the aforementioned tribes agreed to embrace the proposed compact amendment language discussed by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for electronic table games (ETG).

Proposed compact amendments:

As for the proposed compact amendments, they will initiate a new framework for electronic table games offered at each tribe’s individual gaming properties.

Additionally, the upcoming process for these tentative agreements involves several steps. First of all, a joint Legislative hearing will be held on July 10, 2023, which will enable the Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming & Trade and House Regulated Substances & Gaming Committees to consider the agreements. After that, the Gambling Commission will then officially vote on the proposed compact amendment throughout its public meeting on July 20, 2023, to determine whether to forward it to the Governor.

If validated, the amendment will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final review and signature. In the event that both the Governor and Tribal Chair have signed the amendment, it will be forwarded to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for review and release in the Federal Register. In that regard, the Washington State Gambling Commissioners emphasized that the public has the chance to submit comments on the proposed compact amendment by emailing compactcomments@wsgc.wa.gov.

A compact amendment is only final if published in the Federal Register:

Therefore, it is very important to note that “a compact amendment is not final until it is published in the Federal Register.” As soon as it manages to be published, the electronic table games can start in the tribal gaming facilities.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988:

Pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, “Indian tribes located in Washington State can conduct Class III gaming activities on their lands if conducted in accordance with a tribal-state compact.”

Furthermore, the Gambling Commission is tasked with negotiating these compacts in the name of the state. Right now, there are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington State, with 22 tribes managing 28 gaming properties under Class III gaming compacts.


The Cowlitz Indian Tribe owns the largest casino in Ridgefield, which is called Ilani Casino Resort.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe owns the largest casino in Olympia called Red Wind Casino at Nisqually.

The Spokane Tribe owns three casinos in Washington, one of which is the Spokane Tribe Casino.

The Suquamish Tribe owns the largest casino in Suquamish called the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.