Washington tribe wants to block casino plans


The Kalispel Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior in the US District Court.

The tribe sued the federal government in order to stop a rival tribe’s casino plans in Washington state.

US.- The Kalispel Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior in the United States District Court because they’re against Spokane Tribe’s attempts to build a US$400 million Hard Rock casino two miles away from the Kalispel facility.

The tribe claimed that the opening of another facility as close as the one proposed by the Spokanes would certainly have a devastating effect of their revenue. The Kalispels said that the Department’s casino approval is a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that bans Class III gaming facilities on tribal lands purchased after 1988, and the Spokanes acquired the land only 11 years ago. They also obtained the permission in June 2015 after the Governor Jay Inslee gave them his approval.

It is not the first time that IGRA makes exceptions regarding the casino rules, but before granting a license they study the potential impact that a new facility could have on the existing casinos. The Kalispel Tribe claims that the Department is willingly ignoring the recommendations made by experts about the impact that a rival casino is set to have. As reported by KREM, Curt Holmes, Kalispel tribal director, said that the community supports the Spokane Tribe’s goal to develop economic opportunity, but not at the cost of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and their future generations.

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