Gregoire Approves Massive Expansion of Gambling

Late on Friday, March 30, at a time when she hoped few people would notice, Governor Gregoire signed a new compact with 27 tribes that will result in a massive expansion of gambling in our state. This action comes on the heels of a February 16 Gaming Compact the Governor signed with the Spokane Indian tribe which allows them to install up to 4,700 cash-operated slot machines and operate no-limit betting on table games.

This is a horrible decision for our state because the new March 30 gambling compact signed by Gregoire opens the door for the other 27 tribes to expand gambling because the law states that when an expansion of gambling is approved for one tribe, other tribes in Washington can add identical provisions in their compacts.

This action highlights the influence special interests can have on politicians. Gov. Gregoire pushed through legislation to restrict campaign contributions for judicial candidates but tribes are not covered under campaign finance laws and have contributed heavily to the governor and the Democrat party. Now the governor is in the position to appoint liberal judges but we are restricted from raising the funds necessary to challenge her judicial appointments. What a cozy arrangement!

Rep. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) said, “The voters have soundly rejected an expansion of gambling by defeating three statewide initiatives. The governor says she is personally opposed to gambling, but her decisions don’t reflect this – or the will of the voters.”