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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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No decision on Spokane Tribe casino, Inslee says

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee answers questions at a press conference on Oct. 1, 2015 (Jim Camden/Spokesman-Review)
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee answers questions at a press conference on Oct. 1, 2015 (Jim Camden/Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee hasn't made a decision yet on a request by the Spokane Tribe to open a casino near Airway Heights. And he can't predict when he will.

Asked at a press conference Thursday about a time line for the pending decision, Inslee would only say: "When we make that decision, and at the right time. I can't give you a specific date."

It was similar to previous answers to questions on a decision on the tribe's request to include a casino in plans for a hotel and shopping mall on land it owns near Fairchild Air Force Base. After a long study, the U.S. Department of Interior ruled on June 15 that the plans for the complex with the casino are in the best interests of the tribe. 

But the casino still needs an approval from Inslee. Under federal law, he has a year from the date of the department's announcement, and could request an additional six months. The end of that full 18-month period would carry the decision beyond the 2016 election, in which Inslee will be seeking his second term.

In his 2012 campaign, Inslee received the maximum amount of contributions -- $3,600 -- from the Spokane Tribe, and from the Kalispel Tribe, which operate their own casino near Airway Heights and oppose the Spokane Tribe proposal.



Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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