Pasco Washington Tribal Casino Possible if Land Placed in Trust

The Pasco, Washington State region could get a tribal gaming venue if 184 acres are eventually approved by the US government for federal trust status. That follows a failed initiative to permit sports betting at the state’s multiple tribal casinos.

Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Colville Business Council, is working with local officials to develop land near Pasco, Washington. A tribal casino is one option. (Image: Tribal Tribune)

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is considering developing a brick and mortar casino or water park on the property north of Pasco, near a major truck stop, according to the Tri-City Herald. First, the tribe may want to see a gas station and convenience store there, the Herald said, then develop the other properties over several years.

We haven’t made any firm decisions,” Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Colville Business Council, told the Herald. “We want to interact with local officials.”

The tribe has requested that the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs place the parcel into federal trust status. The process can be a lengthy one, given extensive regulations.

The tribe and Pasco city officials plan to sign a preliminary document on Wednesday. It encourages all sides to work cooperatively in developing the land.

Currently, the Colville Tribes owns and operates casinos in Coulee Dam (Coulee Dam Casino), Manson (Mill Bay Casino and the Deep Water Amphitheater), and Omak, Washington (12 Tribes Resort Casino).

The Herald reports the tribe may provide money to Pasco to cover police and fire services as the property gets developed. The region also wants to attract more tourists and to create more jobs through training programs, the Herald said.

The Palus tribe traditionally have lived in the region. They are one of 12 tribes in the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

The Confederated Tribes has more than 9,365 members. The Colville Indian Reservation includes 1.4 million acres in North Central Washington.

Pasco is already the location of the Crazy Moose Casino. It is operated by Nevada Gold.

Tribal Sports Betting Legislation Fails

A tribal sports betting bill sponsored by Majority Caucus Chair Eric Pettigrew and seven other Washington State lawmakers failed to get traction in the legislature earlier this year.

In February, the proposal was approved by the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming. But it never made it past the Appropriations Committee.

Pettigrew’s (D-37) bill was limited to having gamblers be physically present in a casino to wager on athletic events. The state has some 30 tribal casinos.

Gaming Crime Spree in Washington State

Also, Washington State has been the site of multiple gaming-related crimes this year. For instance, a 19-year-old blackjack dealer from the Clearwater Casino in Suquamish — on the Kitsap Peninsula near Seattle — was arrested in January after he allegedly helped players beat the house while playing 21.

Then, in September, the King County Washington State sheriff investigated the circumstances surrounding a man who got down on all fours in a Shoreline casino, crawled past a counter, and eventually reached an office where he found over $13,000 in an unlocked safe. The flexible bandit then stole the cash during the Sept. 27 heist.

Additionally, Washington State’s Crazy Moose Casino Pasco lost over $38,000 to a card player who allegedly improperly switched cards at least 38 times over several weeks while playing high card flush. He was charged in September.

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