Pflug tapped for Gambling Commission

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - A legislator who represents much of the Valley has been appointed to serve on the commission that will oversee the state's gaming compact with the Snoqualmie Tribe, should it be approved.

Rep. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, was named to the Washington State Gambling Commission Wednesday, Feb. 27, by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. She will serve as one of four ex-officio members, representing the House of Representatives' Republican Caucus. Five Washington residents act as commissioners.

Since the Snoqualmie Tribe unveiled plans to build a proposed casino on 56 acres outside of Snoqualmie, Pflug has been attending Gambling Commission meetings. She takes the place of Rep. Jim Clements, R-Selah, who had resigned.

Pflug said she wanted to be appointed to the Gambling Commission because of the 175,000-square-foot facility the Tribe plans to build and the impacts it could have on her constituents. It would contain a casino, three restaurants and a 400-seat theater.

"I thought it would put me in a good position to kind of monitor to make sure the agreement was being kept," she said.

The gaming compact between the state and the Snoqualmie Tribe was recently approved by Gov. Gary Locke and now awaits ratification by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. The Gambling Commission has oversight of the 25 compacts with federally recognized Native American tribes throughout the state. While ex-officio members don't vote on the day-to-day operations of the commission, they do vote on whether to approve gaming compacts or alter existing compacts.

"We all agree that if we are going to have a casino, we want it to be strictly legitimate and integrate as well as possible with the surrounding community," Pflug said.

"The Snoqualmie Tribe has indicated its willingness to abide by the state gaming compact, which requires tribal casinos to make significant monetary contributions to the local community. We want to make certain that those agreements are responsibly fulfilled."

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