In Washington, The Confederated Tribes Of The Colville Reservation has announced plans to spend around $1 million in order to open a small casino at its Rainbow Beach Resort development in the small town of Inchelium.
According to a report from the Tribal Tribune newspaper, the planned Twin Lakes Casino would offer only around 50 gaming machines and be operated by the tribes’ 12 Tribes Colville Casinos enterprise, which already runs a trio of northeast Washington casinos in the 12 Tribes Resort Casino in Omak, Manson’s Mill Bay Casino and the Coulee Dam Casino near the Grand Coulee Dam.
Citing a legal opinion written by tribal attorneys, John MacClain, Chief Operating Officer for 12 Tribes Colville Casinos, stated that the small size of the planned enterprise may mean that it is not included in the tribes’ Class III state gaming compact, which limits the group to operating six casinos.
The nearest casino to the Inchelium area is the Two Rivers Casino And Resort, which is operated by the Spokane Tribe Of Indians approximately 35 miles away near Fort Spokane. However, MacClain declared that business at this casino is seasonal and his group’s new development may be able to “capitalize” on this situation as patrons came “across the river” in winter to play.
Although supportive of the new development, Joe Somday from the tribes’ 14-member Colville Business Council disagreed with this assessment and stated that the majority of the player base may instead come from the local community.
“If you take the distance between Two Rivers [Casino And Resort] and Twin Lakes [Casino] and Two Rivers [Casino And Resort] and Northern Quest [Resort And Casino], I think they’re going to go to Spokane,” Somday told the Tribal Tribune. “I see it as being seasonable at best and I venture to guess the only clientele you’re going to get are the people in Inchelium.”
MacClain explained that the new Twin Lakes Casino is to be classed as a Tier-A casino and would require fewer employees than the tribes’ larger venues.
“Tier-A is such that you can get really, really skinny and remain profitable even if you have only 30 guest per day,” MacClain told the Tribal Tribune.
MacClain additionally unveiled Lynn Seymour as the new manager for the planned enterprise while revealing that 12 Tribes Colville Casinos had already issued a request for proposals for the design of its structure.
“I’m just happy we have a fourth site,” William Nicholson from the Colville Business Council, told the Tribal Tribune. “One of the first things Michael Marchand told me back when I worked at the comptroller was that we have six sites but only three casinos. That’s a big deal.”