Tulalip Tribes of Washington v. State of Washington

In 1991, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington and the State of Washington signed a tribal-state gaming compact (the Tulalip Compact), which has since been amended numerous times. The Spokane Tribe did not participate in the collective negotiation process that led to the Tulalip Compact. In 2007, a compact between the Spokane Tribe and the State (the Spokane Compact) became effective. In 2010, Tulalip requested negotiations with the State to amend its compact to enable Tulalip to acquire additional licenses to video player terminals licenses to video player terminals for Class III gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. When negotiations broke down, Tulalip initiated suit, asserting that the “most-favored tribe” clause in the Tulalip Compact entitled it to the amendment because the mechanism was available to the Spokane Tribe but unavailable to Tulalip. The district court granted summary judgment to the State and denied Tulalip’s cross-motion for summary judgment. A panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the most-favored tribe clause did not require the State to adopt Tulalip’s proposed amendment because the amendment did not mirror the restrictions set forth the Spokane compact. View "Tulalip Tribes of Washington v. State of Washington" on Justia Law