A bill introduced late in the legislative session would let privately-owned card rooms install video lottery machines now only allowed in tribal casinos.
Sponsors of House Bill 2044 say the measure allows card rooms to compete with tribal gaming activities. They say it would generate about $290 million for the state over the next two years. Half of the money raised from the machines would go to K-12 education, while the rest will pay for public safety and social and health programs for the needy.
The Columbian newspaper says only card rooms that have been operating for five years would be eligible. The bill sets a maximum of 200 machines at any location.
Sponsors include Rep. David Taylor, of Moxee, and Rep. Charles Ross, of Nache