Cowlitz Indian Tribe Approved to Open La Center Casino

by Kyle Miller

Cowlitz Indian TribePermission to open has been given to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for their new casino located in Washington State.

It seems a new casino is popping up at least once a week across the United States. Gone are the days when players were limited as to where they could go to enjoy casino gaming and entertainment. It seems now that most every state has an established gaming industry or is working to see new venues added to major areas of the state. The Native American gaming industry is growing quite rapidly as of late with several tribes working on permissions to open new venues in the states. Just recently, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe was given the go-ahead to open their new casino in La Center, Washington.

Ready for Business

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has been working on their Ilani Casino for some time now and finally earned the permissions needed to open the $510 million casino in Las Center. The casino is located at the Washington State/Oregon border and recently won the right to operate via a United States Supreme Court decision.

It has been several years now that the Cowlitz Tribe has been working on their gaming venue. The tribe wanted to bring a casino to tribal lands and was up against opposition around every turn. A petition filed to see the United States Supreme Court review a decision by a lower court in which the United States Department of Interior had agreed to take the land of the tribe into trust. These efforts by casino opponents failed and the Ilani Casino Resort will be able to open later on this month.

The 360,000 square foot casino has been a long work in progress and officials will be happy to see it finally open for business. William Iyall, the Cowlitz Tribal Chairman, commented on the decision by stating it is a triumphant moment for the tribe as it marks the end of a 160 year journey back to their homeland as well as the beginning of a new journey. The Tribe now looks forward to delivering on their commitments to their members as well as employees and the community in which they live and work.

The Chairman continued to state that the casino will bring over 1,200 new jobs to the area and dozens of opportunities for small businesses. There have already been hundreds of individuals who have been hired and trained. When the facility is opened in the Spring, 2% of net revenues from the gaming venue will be invested in education and art programs within the local community as an additional benefit.

Big Spending and On-Time Finish

The tribe has worked hard to see the casino come to life and has spent a great deal of time and money to complete the venue. The tribe just recently completed the construction of the replacement of Exit 16 interchange which is located on I-5. This change cost $32mm and was fully-funded. The roadwork was completed on time and on budget to help accommodate the planned development for both sides of the freeway.

On top of the interchange construction, the tribe also was given the opportunity design and construct a new sewer line from the waste water treatment plant in La Center to the junction at I-5 which had a cost of $5mm.

Construction began on the property back in 2015 and now complete, the gaming floor of the casino features 100,000 square feet of space housing 75 table games and 2,500 slot machines. The casino is considered to be a premier destination for gaming, dining, entertainment and more.