Cowlitz Indian Tribe reaches tentative agreement with Gambling Commission on proposed gaming compact amendment

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) has reached a tentative agreement with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe on an amendment to its Class III gaming compact. The proposed amendment includes new provisions amending Appendix X2, as it relates to Smoking Cessation and Prevention. This change sets out that when the Tribe designates a portion up to an entirely smoke-free gaming facility with barriers consistent with industry-accepted control strategies that prevent exposure to secondhand smoke by smoke-free patrons, the Tribe can reduce its cessation contribution proportionally. Full amendment.

Washington State Gambling Commission Chairperson Alicia Levy said of the tentative compact amendment: “This agreement increases the ability for Cowlitz patrons to avoid the health risks associated with second-hand smoke when entering a gaming facility. We applaud the efforts of our agency staff in working on this agreement as we keep gambling legal and honest.”

Patty Kinswa-Gaiser, Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairwoman said of the compact amendment: “We are grateful for the work and leadership of the Washington State Gambling Commission and Chairperson Alicia Levy. The positive relationship between the Tribe and WSGC is not only leading to a safe and responsible environment at ilani, it is advancing self-determination and economic prosperity for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and its members, while driving significant community development and philanthropic investments across Washington state.”

Next Steps:

  1. Formal notification about the proposed compact amendment will be conveyed to the Governor, Legislature and others.
  2. The Gambling Commission will vote at its public meeting on April 25, 2024, and decide whether or not to forward the proposed compact amendment to the Governor.
  3. If the Commission votes to forward the Tribe’s amendment, it will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final consideration and signature.
  4. Once the Tribal Chair signs the amendment, it will be sent to the Governor for final consideration and signature.
  5. 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 Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed on June 16, 2014, and this is the fifth amendment. Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to