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Washington at a Glance
Gaming License: Yes
Non-Gaming License: Yes
Vendor License Exemptions Available: Yes
Temporary License: Yes
Ownership Disclosure Threshold: 5% - Public
10% Private
Institutional Investor Waiver: No
Fees: $659 - $4,242
State Gaming Lab: Public
Term of License: 1 Year
Deadline to Reapply: Prior to Expiration
Political Contribution Restrictions: No

Colville Confederated Tribal Gaming Commission

www.colvilletribes.com
More Colville Confederated Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation Gaming Commission

www.chehalistribe.org
More Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation Gaming Commission Info

Cowlitz Gaming Commission

More Cowlitz Gaming Commission Info

Jamestown S'Klallam Gaming Regulatory Commission

www.jamestowntribe.org
More Jamestown S'Klallam Gaming Regulatory Commission Info

Kalispel Tribal Gaming Agency

www.kalispeltribe.com
More Kalispel Tribal Gaming Agency Info

Lower Elwha Gaming Commission

More Lower Elwha Gaming Commission Info

Lummi Tribal Gaming Agency

www.lummi-nsn.gov
More Lummi Tribal Gaming Agency Info

Muckleshoot Gaming Commission

muckleshoot.nsn.us
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Nisqually Tribal Gaming Commission

www.nisqually-nsn.gov
More Nisqually Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Nooksack Tribal Gaming Commission

More Nooksack Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Port Gamble S'Kallam Gaming Commission

www.pgst.nsn.us
More Port Gamble S'Kallam Gaming Commission Info

Puyallup Tribal Gaming Commission

www.ptgro.org
More Puyallup Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Quinault Tribal Gaming Agency

www.quinaultindiannation.com
More Quinault Tribal Gaming Agency Info

Shoalwater Bay Gaming Commission

www.shoalwaterbay-nsn.gov
More Shoalwater Bay Gaming Commission Info

Skokomish Tribal Gaming Agency

www.skokomish.org
More Skokomish Tribal Gaming Agency Info

Snoqualmie Gaming Commission

www.snoqualmietribe.us/SGC
More Snoqualmie Gaming Commission Info

Spokane Tribal Gaming Commission

www.spokanetribe.com
More Spokane Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Squaxin Island Gaming Commission

www.squaxinisland.org
More Squaxin Island Gaming Commission Info

Suquamish Tribal Gaming Commission

www.suquamish.org
More Suquamish Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Swinomish Tribal Gaming Commission

www.swinomish-nsn.gov/Resources/Tribal-Gaming-Commission.aspx
More Swinomish Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Tulalip Tribal Gaming Commission

www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov
More Tulalip Tribal Gaming Commission Info

Upper Skagit Tribal Gaming Authority

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Yakama Nation Gaming Commission

www.yngc.com
More Yakama Nation Gaming Commission Info

Washington Gaming Supplier Regulatory Overview


Introduction

Although there is no commercial casino gaming in Washington, the Washington State Gambling Commission (“Commission”) aids in the regulation of Native American gaming activities in the state. In addition, the Commission also regulates social gaming activities and card rooms in the state.

Individual tribal gaming agencies are responsible for the regulation of all tribal gaming activities, including the licensing of manufacturers and suppliers. Tribes are responsible for issuing a manufacturer or supplier license, while the Commission is responsible for issuing manufacturer and supplier certifications.1 Each tribal government that operates Class III gaming activities maintains an individual gaming compact with the state and, therefore, the details of the licensing requirements and processes may vary from tribe to tribe. For the purposes of this analysis, the Class III gaming compact between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington was used as a model for tribal gaming compact provisions.2

Commission Supplier Certification Requirements

Compact provisions require the certification and licensure of “[e]ach manufacturer and supplier of gaming services.”3 Furthermore, compact provisions define “gaming services” as “any goods or services to the Tribe, whether on or off site, directly (or indirectly) in connection with the operation of Class III gaming in a gaming facility, including equipment, maintenance, or security services for the gaming facility.”4

In addition, “gambling device” is defined as “any device or mechanism the operation of which a right to money, credits, deposits or other things of value may be created, in return for a consideration, as the result of the operation of an element of chance and any device or mechanism which, when operated for a consideration, does not return the same value or thing of value for the same consideration upon each operation thereof.”5

Financiers are subject to the licensing and certification requirements prior to completion of a financing agreement and for as long as the financing agreement is in effect.6

Please note that those entities or individuals that provide less than $25,000 worth of goods or services annually to a tribal gaming facility may be waived from the licensing and certification requirements by mutual agreement between the Tribe and the Commission.7

Although separate certifications exist for manufacturers, distributors, and service suppliers (i.e., those who provide consulting or other services related to gaming activity), the certification provisions are substantially similar for all certifications. Therefore, the analysis below will apply to all of these certifications.

Duration

Each certification is valid for a period of one year.8

Fees

Application and certification fees will vary depending on the nature of the applicant’s business and the annual volume of business. Fees range from $659 to $4,242.9

Required Documents and Information

Applicants are required to complete the appropriate application forms, which will vary according to the type of business conducted (manufacturer, distributor, or service provider). Each business category requires the completion of multiple licensing application forms. In order to complete these forms, the following information is needed:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Business trade name;
3. Whether the applicant has ever applied for or been licensed by the Commission;
4. Business organization structure;
5. List of the address of each office, warehouse, or outlet of the applicant’s services;
6. Type of gambling business conducted;
7. Identity of resident agent in Washington;
8. List of all employees who have acted as representatives for gambling services offered in the state;
9. List of all gaming licenses, past and present;
10. Whether the applicant has ever been revoked, suspended, denied, or withdrawn;
11. Financial interests in other gambling-related businesses; and
12. Disclosure of all start-up costs and source of funding.

In addition, the following documents are required to be filed in connection with the completed application materials:

1. Copies of all gaming contracts in the state, including all contracts with other entities licensed by the Commission;
2. Copies of leases or purchase closing documents for all warehouses, offices, or other locations occupied by the applicant;
3. Organization documents (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, etc.);
4. Organizational chart;
5. Meeting minutes relating to an issuance of stock or election of officers;
6. Annual income statement;
7. List of all assets and liabilities;
8. Copies of any past, present, or pending civil, criminal, or regulatory action;
9. Copies of all civil, criminal, bankruptcy, or regulatory actions against any business entity in which the applicant has a 5% or more interest.
10. List of all gambling equipment or services related to gambling offered;
11. List of all gambling equipment manufactured in Washington;
12. For manufacturers, a list of all persons holding an interest in the property used for the manufacturing of gambling equipment;
13. For manufacturers, a narrative of the process by which gambling equipment is manufactured;
14. For manufacturers, a list of all subcontractors used for the manufacture or assembly of gambling equipment; and
15. List of individuals holding a proprietary interest in any gaming equipment or devices sold.

Commission Key Persons Certification Requirements

Certain individuals associated with a corporate applicant must apply for individual certification in connection with the corporate entity’s application. These include those individuals who have a substantial interest in the applicant: direct or indirect owners (10% or more of a private entity, 5% or more of a public entity), officers, directors, those providing 10% or more of the start-up capital, and those who receive a share of the revenue derived from gambling receipts.10

Any individual acting as or supervising a local representative for a licensed manufacturer, distributor, or service provider must be certified as a gaming representative.

Duration

Individual certifications may be issued for a period of up to one year.

Fees

For all gaming representative applicants, there is a $260 application fee. There are no application fees associated with individual certification applications required under a corporate application.

Required Documents and Information

The following information is needed to complete the necessary application forms:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Basic identification information for corporate applicant;
3. Social security number;
4. Passport and citizenship information;
5. Spouse’s name, date and location of marriage;
6. List of all business licenses held in any jurisdiction;
7. Percentage of ownership in corporate applicant;
8. Date of acquisition of ownership interest;
9. Statement of annual income;
10. All other business interests held, 5% or more;
11. List of all assets and liabilities;
12. Criminal, civil, and regulatory action history;
13. Military service history;
14. Employment history, past 10 years; and
15. Residence history, past 10 years.

The following documents must be submitted with the necessary application materials:

1. Copies of all civil, criminal, bankruptcy, or regulatory actions against any business entity in which the applicant has a 5% or more interest;
2. Proof of identity (driver’s license, military ID, or valid passport);
3. Completed fingerprint cards; and
4. Photograph.

Tribal Supplier Licensing Requirements

Each tribe must license all manufacturers and distributors of gaming equipment in addition to the state certification process outlined above. Because this process is conducted by individual tribal gaming commissions, the specific processes will vary from tribe to tribe. The following is a general outline of the duration, fees, and applications related to tribal supplier licenses in the state.

Note that the tribe may agree to rely on the state certification process in lieu of maintaining an independent tribal licensing process if allowed by the tribe’s compact with the state.

Duration

Each supplier or manufacturer license is valid for a period of one year.11

Fees

Fees for the tribal licensing application are established by each individual Tribal Gaming Agency and, therefore, will vary from tribe to tribe.12 Application fees may range from $250 to $1,000.

Required Documents and Information

The following information is typically requested by tribal gaming commissions in Washington:

1. Basic identification information;
2. List of addresses of each office, warehouse, or other location occupied by the applicant;
3. Type of business organization;
4. Identity of president, sole proprietor, or managing partner;
5. List of all representatives requiring access to the gaming facility;
6. Gaming license or certification action history;
7. Criminal, civil, and regulatory action history; and
8. Identification of principals, including those holding 10% or more interest in the applicant.

The following documents and supplemental materials are typically required for a tribal gaming license:

1. Organizational documents (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, etc.);
2. Copies of all contracts with the tribal gaming commission; and
3. Copies of all state certifications and gaming licenses held in any jurisdiction.

Tribal Key Persons Licensing Requirements

Certain key persons may be required to obtain an individual license with the tribal gaming commission. The determination on who must be licensed will be determined by each individual tribe. However, it is likely that those individuals required to undergo the individual state certification process will be required to be licensed by the tribal gaming commission. These are individuals who hold a position within the company that requires them to exercise substantial control over gaming-related operations or who have a significant ownership interest in the corporate applicant.

Duration

Individual licenses will be valid for up to one year.

Fees

Each tribal gaming commission will establish independent fees for individual licensing applicants. However, some tribes may include the fee for an individual license in the general application fee for the corporate entity with which the individual is associated.

Required Documents and Information

The following information is typically requested by tribal gaming commissions in Washington:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Title and relationship to corporate applicant;
3. Criminal, civil, and regulatory action history;
4. Whether the applicant has ever been issued a gaming license in any jurisdiction;
5. Whether the applicant has ever had a gaming license suspended, revoked, denied, or withdrawn;
6. Whether the applicant has any financial interest in any company involved in gaming; and
7. Whether the applicant has any family members with a financial interest in a company involved with gaming.

The following documents and supplemental materials are typically required for a tribal gaming license:

1. Proof of identity (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.);
2. Photograph; and
3. Copies of all gaming licenses held.

Card Room Regulation

In addition to its limited regulatory oversight of tribal gaming operations, the Commission actively regulates the state’s card rooms. The Commission reviews and authorizes individuals employed by card rooms as well as those entities conducting business with card rooms. Employee, manufacturer, and distributor licenses typically are valid for a period of one year and may require certification that the individual or company official has completed a training course on the state’s rules and regulations regarding card rooms.

It should be noted that the licensing process for card room manufacturers and distributors is similar to the process outlined below for those entities contracting with tribal gaming facilities. Like other manufacturers and distributors, key principals and sales or other representatives must be individually licensed by the Commission.

Licensing Process

Initial licensing applications should be submitted to the Tribal Gaming Agency. After receipt, the Tribal Gaming Agency will forward all application materials to the Commission in order to initiate the state certification process. Either the Tribe or the Commission, depending on the compact agreement, will then conduct a background check on the corporate entity and its principals.13

Temporary licenses and certifications may be issued upon receipt of a completed application unless the applicant has a criminal history or there are other sufficient grounds to disqualify the applicant that are apparent during the review of the submitted application.14

Disclosure and Reporting Requirements

After an application has been submitted, the applicant must report in writing any material change in the information contained in the application within 30 days of the change.15

Certification or license holders must report any civil, criminal, or regulatory action taken against the licensee in any jurisdiction in writing within 30 days of the filing of the action.16

Gaming Technology Standards

All gambling equipment offered for sale must be reviewed and approved by the Commission before being sold to a Class III gaming facility.

Electronic games of chance and other similar games must meet National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) standards, including the requirement that equipment be examined and approved by an independent testing laboratory in accordance with individual tribal ordinances.17

Exemptions

Suppliers or manufacturers who are currently licensed for business with another tribe in the state will be deemed certified for business with other tribes operating in the state.18

Those entities or individuals that provide less than $25,000 worth of goods or services annually to a tribal gaming facility may be waived from the licensing and certification requirements by mutual agreement between the Tribe and the Commission.19

Professional legal and accounting services are not subject to the licensing and certification requirements.20
1Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
2See Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, approved March 7, 2001.
3Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
4Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. II(N).
5Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. II(H).
6Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(D).
7Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
8Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
9Washington State Gambling Commission, Fee Schedule – Commercial Stimulant/Profit-Seeking Organization.
10WAC 230-03-045.
11Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
12Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. V(J).
13Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. V(A).
14Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. V(K).
15 WAC 230-06-080.
16WAC 230-06-085; WAC 230-06-090.
1725 CFR 542, 547.
18Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
19Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).
20Tribal-State Compact for Class III Gaming Between the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and the State of Washington, Sec. IV(C).

This article is provided by Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. For information about the services they provide please visit our information on gaming licensing and compliance advisors.