TACOMA — A tentative deal between Washington state and Indian tribes would allow more gambling machines at tribal casinos.
The News Tribune reports that over the years, the number of slot-style machines allowed has been set in prolonged and sometimes difficult negotiations. But under the latest deal, the number — currently about 28,000 — would increase by 10 percent, and then automatically increase as market conditions dictate.
In theory, the number of machines could double over the next decade. But W. Ron Allen, with the Washington Indian Gaming Association, says that’s unlikely because the gambling market isn’t increasing that quickly.
The state Gambling Commission and four state lawmakers will vote next month on whether to send the deal to Gov. Jay Inslee for approval. At least one of those lawmakers, Republican Sen. Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla, says he opposes allowing the number of machines to increase in perpetuity unless the tribes agree to share some of their casino profits.