Gambling Commission, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe reach tentative agreement on gaming compact amendment

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and the Washington State Gambling Commission have reached a tentative agreement to amend the Class III gaming compact for the Tribe's gaming operations. The proposed amendments include new provisions that will provide new and expanded gaming opportunities for guests at Snoqualmie Casino, provide for continued cooperation to promote responsible gaming, and increase the Tribe's contributions to the community. (Read Full Amendment)

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe agrees to updating several provisions in their 9-year-old compact in the proposed amendment, said Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. Those provisions include revising forms of payment, high limit room, extensions of credit, and wide-area progressive jackpots.

The major changes impacting the Casino's operations include allowing a maximum of 125 gaming tables in one gaming facility or a combination of two facilities, allowing a designated area for 25% of table games in operation to offer up to $1,000 wagers and limited tables can offer up to $5,000 wagers after customer screening, allowing the operation of 3,000 player terminals in one gaming facility or a combination of two facilities, and authorizing $30 wagers at the player terminals. The changes also include adding the use of near-field communication (NFC) devices, EMV or smart cards, or similar secure payment technologies, upon agreement, allowing for extension of credit to qualified customers, based on screening criteria set out in the appendix, and documented in a memorandum of understanding.

In exchange for these operational improvements, the Tribe has agreed to work with the State to expand and maintain the responsible gaming program, to provide additional funding for problem gambling treatment, and to provide additional funding for community impact and charitable contributions.

Finally, the changes also include updating jurisdiction provisions, adding relevant criminal laws, adding a framework to review and approve a wide-area progressive connected to the Tribal Lottery System, and establishing a moratorium on additional changes until six months after Problem Gambling Task Force completes its report.

The negotiated amendments to our Gaming Compact will significantly improve the guest experience at the Snoqualmie Casino. But, equally important, the amendments reflect the Tribe's commitment to working with the State through continued investments in responsible gambling and increased funding that the Tribe invests in the community through our charitable and community impact funds, says Robert De Los Angeles, Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman.

Next Steps:

  1. Formal notification about the proposed compact amendment will be conveyed to the Governor, Legislature and others.
  2. The Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on February 1, 2021, at 8am.
  3. The House Commerce and Gaming Committee will hold a public hearing on February 4, 2021, at 1:30pm.
  4. The Gambling Commission will vote at its public meeting on March 11, 2021 and decide whether or not to forward the proposed compact amendment to the Governor.
  5. If the Commission votes to forward the Tribe's amendment, it will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final consideration and signature.
  6. Once the Tribal Chair signs the amendment, it will be sent to the Governor for final consideration and signature.
  7. After obtaining the signatures of the Tribal Chair and the 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 Snoqualmie Indian Tribe's tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed on February 15, 2002, and this is the fourth amendment. Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to