Council passes gambling ordinance

Published on Thu, Jun 26, 2003
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Council passes gambling ordinance

Blaine city council passed a gambling ordinance Monday evening that prohibits any form of gambling in the marine planned recreation (MPR) zone.

The city began working on the ordinance following the announcement in March that the Upper Skagit Tribe had entered into a consulting agreement with Bellingham-based Trillium Corporation to manage the Semiahmoo Resort and Loomis Trail. Since that time, the Tribe has bought 50 percent of the entities and is now the sole managing partner.

Although officials of both the Upper Skagit Tribe and Trillium stated they have no intention to bring gambling facilities to the Semiahmoo spit area, many in the community were concerned about the possibility of gambling.

Following a public hearing, the planning commission presented city council with the gambling ordinance, which it unanimously approved on Monday evening. Prior to the vote, councilwoman Bonnie Onyon expressed interest in an ordinance that would prohibit gambling in other areas as well as Semiahmoo spit, and city officials stated there are intentions to do so.

Concerns have also arisen over the possibility that the Upper Skagit Tribe would purchase the other 50 percent of Semiahmoo Resort and Loomis Trail, thus becoming full owner and operator. If this was to occur, there is a possibility that the tribe would attempt to turn the area into tribal or trust lands. However, Don Guglielmino, the general manager of the Upper Skagit, said there had been no discussion about that.