Gambling Commission votes to forward Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's gaming compact amendment to Governor's Office

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Today the Washington State Gambling Commission voted unanimously to forward the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's Class III gaming compact amendment to the Governor's Office for final consideration and signature. The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe operates the 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim.

The Gambling Commission is responsible for negotiating tribal gaming compacts, said Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. The proposed changes reflect current regulatory practices, reduce duplication between tribal and state regulators and clarify the roles for each party.

Below is a summary of the major changes in the proposed amendment. (Full amendment attached)

  • Authorizes a second gaming facility, though the Tribe does not have current plans for a second facility.
  • Allows the Tribe to operate any Class III table games authorized for play in Washington State.
  • Replaces state certification of employees with state registration verification. The Tribal Gaming Agency will license new or renewing employees and then register them with the State.
  • Continues the requirement that the State Gaming Agency conduct criminal history records checks that look for activities that may pose a threat to the public or effective regulation of this compact.
  • Gaming employee registration with the State will be valid for three years unless disqualifying information is discovered; the State Gaming Agency will conduct criminal record checks annually.
  • Limits registration so that it is not transferrable to other tribal casinos or house banked card rooms.
  • The State Gaming Agency and Tribal Gaming Agency will conduct an annual comparison review to ensure records are consistent between agencies and licensure criteria is met.
  • Incorporates the Tribe's current internal controls that were approved by the Tribal Gaming Agency and concurred with by the State Gaming Agency, as the minimum operating standards. The Tribe may make changes to its internal controls with the State's concurrence.
  • The Tribe will determine when a tribal gaming agent will be present during gaming facility operating hours.
  • The Tribe will provide information annually about problem gambling education, awareness, and treatment program services for tribal lands and surrounding communities.
  • The Tribe and State have agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to define the schedule of fines and sanctions the Tribe or State may levy against a gaming employee or the gaming operation.
  • The Tribe must enter into a Gaming Station Transfer Agreement to lease Class III gaming stations or tables from another tribe when it operates more than 60 tables.
  • Clarifies keno standards.
  • Provides a framework to review and approve a wide area progressive connected to the tribal lottery system.

Next Steps:

  1. The amendment will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final consideration and signature.
  2. Once the Tribal Chair signs the amendment, it will be sent to the Governor for final consideration and signature.
  3. After obtaining the signatures of the Tribal Chair and Governor, the Tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration, signature and publication in the Federal Register.

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 Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed on Feb. 19, 1993 and this is the sixth amendment.