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Home » Press Releases » Gambling Commission, Nooksack Indian Tribe reach tentative agreement on gaming compact amendment

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

Posted on:  October 17, 2018

The Washington State Gambling Commission has reached a tentative agreement with the Nooksack Indian Tribe on an amendment to its Class III gaming compact. The amendment would allow the Tribe to operate Class III gaming at its only gaming facility, Northwood Casino in Lynden. The casino currently offers Class II gaming only, and is the Tribe’s primary economic enterprise.

“The Nooksack Tribe’s gaming compact is the second-oldest in the state,” said Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. “We’ll continue to work with the Tribe over the next couple years to update its gaming compact and better align it with others in our state.” 

The “Community Contribution” section of the compact was updated to be consistent with language in other tribes’ compacts. It also includes organizations that may be impacted by the operation of Class III gaming at Northwood Casino. The Tribe will create and maintain a responsible gaming policy and contribute 0.07% of net revenues to fund problem gambling treatment and studies. 

Next Steps:

1.       Formal notification about the proposed compact amendment will be conveyed to the Governor, Legislature and others.

2.       The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee and House Commerce and Gaming Committee will hold a joint public hearing on Oct. 23, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

3.       The Gambling Commission will vote at its public meeting on Nov. 15, 2018, and decide whether or not to forward the proposed compact amendment to the Governor.

4.       If the Commission votes to forward the Tribe’s amendment, it will be sent to the Tribal Chair for final consideration and signature.

5.       Once the Tribal Chair signs the amendment, it will be sent to the Governor for final consideration and signature.

6.       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 Nooksack Indian Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed on Oct. 28, 1991 and this is the seventh amendment. Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to 

Media Contact: 

Heather Songer
Public Information Officer
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 486-3485 desk
(360) 584-2877 cell