Liquor agents alerted Nooksack tribe before casino enforcement

Bellingham, Washington (AP) 11-07

State liquor agents give the Nooksack Indian Tribe 24 hours’ notice before an undercover enforcement operation at the Nooksack River Casino at Deming.

Washington Liquor Control Board Deputy Chief Rex Prout defended the policy at a hearing in Bellingham for a liquor license on the tribe’s new Northwood Casino in Whatcom County. He says the advance notice is necessary for the tribe’s cooperation.

The liquor board originally granted a liquor license in May for the new casino, over the objection of local residents and the sheriff concerned about drunken drivers.

The license was challenged by a lawsuit filed by the Whatcom County Prosecutor, Dave McEachran (meh-KECK’-run), leading to the recent hearing.

The hearing examiner will make a recommendation to the liquor board, which still has the final say on the license for the new casino.