Despite advertising on the casino website and Facebook page for upcoming events, the Nooksack River Casino near Seattle, Washington has shut down. Financial issues apparently forced the casino to shut down immediately on Thursday night. A former human resources manager for the Nooksack Casino, Michelle Roberts, told local media that word was in on Friday morning that after 11 pm, the casino shut down.
The casino has been subject to financial issues for many years now, with such problems causing major legal battles between the tribe and lenders who are looking to collect on loans. Bob Kelly, the Tribal Chairman, has not commented on the closing but during the summer months, announced during a tribal meeting that the tribe may have to close the casino. There was much backlash to this announcement as the tribe considers the casino an iconic structure since it was the first business of the tribe.
Another issue that the tribe faces that is a factor involved in the casino closing, according to Roberts, is disenrollment. The tribe has been trying for three years now to disenroll just over 300 members, including the former HR manager. Roberts feels that if the tribe were not focused on disenrollment, they could have put their energies elsewhere, such as into the business.