Spokane Tribe Casino Fate to Be Determined by Washington Governor
After the Spokane Tribe of Indians received federal approval to build a $400-million casino on non-reservation land, it is now up to Washington Governor Jay Inslee to give the green light to the ambitious project.
Tribal chairwoman Carol Evans explained that if the gambling venue gets the necessary approval, its construction and operation would result in the creation of more than 5,000 jobs. In addition, the casino is expected to economically boost the struggling tribe. คาสิโนออนไลน์
Ms. Evans noted that unemployment among the Spokane Tribe members has been exceeding 30% for years now. The tribe currently has around 2,900 members. Tribal officials have also repeatedly pointed out that once fully operational, the casino would serve as a major contributor to the economy of the Spokane Tribe. It would support cultural and elder programs, and would provide funds for scholarships and health care.
If the $400-million tribal project eventually gets Gov. Inslee’s approval, it would feature not only a casino floor, but also a hotel and retail options. The venue would be operated by popular gambling and hospitality operator Hard Rock International. Rudy Peone, former Chairman of the tribe, has previously commented that Hard Rock is a brand that would most certainly provide “a unique experience” to gambling customers.
The Spokane Tribe submitted its application to build a casino on non-reservation land back in 2006. However, the Interior Department granted the necessary permission earlier this year. It is interesting to note that the agency has previously given the nod to a handful of such off-reservation projects.
Officials explained that their decision was mainly based on the fact that such a development would be beneficial to the area as it would bring new jobs and funds for public services.
Although the proposed casino seems to be a good thing for the Spokane Tribe and its members, the project has met quite a vocal opposition from tribal businessmen and leaders of the Kalispel Tribe, which runs a casino in the area. Opponents expressed fears that the launch of a gambling venue may result in the closure of the nearby Fairchild Air Force Base, which is one of the major employers in the area.
However, Spokane Tribe officials noted that they had discussed their proposal with Air Force representatives and they had not objected to the construction of the casino. The tribe also said that the Kalispel Tribe is using the Air Force issue as a means to prevent a direct competitor to its gambling facility from being opened.
A spokesperson for Gov. Inslee revealed that he is not likely to announce whether he approves the casino project anytime soon. The official has up to June 2016 to make up his mind.