Two of the three state lawmakers whose district includes the Greyhound Park Event Center in Post Falls said Monday they were surprised and disappointed that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe had canceled its big annual Julyamsh Pow Wow there this summer, amid a dispute over “instant racing” betting machines the center has been operating. “It’s always been a really great event,” said Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene. “Hopefully it gets resolved. I’m not sure if either side will like the outcome.” He said he’s heard of legislation in the works to do everything from keep the instant racing machines but limit their numbers, to repealing all gambling in Idaho, including the state lottery and tribal gaming.
Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene, said he thinks the machines probably are legal, but he’s waiting for more information. New Rep. Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, said he didn’t know the powwow had been canceled.
The event has been held annually in Post Falls for 17 years; it’s the largest outdoor powwow in the Northwest and among the largest such events in the nation, with 1,600 participants and up to 30,000 spectators over three days. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.