Family Desires Casino On Trust Land

Land owned by Quinault Nation member Roberta Law Ross was placed in trust in the 1920s. Now family members want to pursue a casino on the 0.79-acre site—but there's some question over which tribe actually exercises "governmental power" over the land under IGRA.

Descendants of Roberta Law Ross, a member of the Quinault Nation, want to open a casino in Bremerton, Washington, on the family’s 0.79-acre site. The allotment was placed in trust for during the 1920s and has remained in the family since then.

Ross descendant Kevin Chambers said, “We’ve always dreamed about the idea of having a casino here, but we needed to find a partner. The property is unique, and affords a really special opportunity, not just for us but for the city.”

Since the site already is in federal trust, it meets part of the requirements of “Indian lands” according to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. But there’s some question over which tribe exercises “governmental power” over the land. The Suquamish Tribe, with tribal headquarters located 24 miles away, has been issuing licenses to the family to operate a fireworks stand on the allotment. However, family members are enrolled with the Samish Nation, with headquarters 144 miles away.