Operator Matt Wadhwani

Puyallup Tribe

3009 Portland Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404, USA

Based in Washington, the Pallyup Tribe are federally recognized and operate the Emerald Queen Casino. 

History 

The Puyallup people descended from several villages that ran alongside the Puyallup River. Following the removal of the people from the land, the Tribe spent several years at war before a new treaty was signed in 1856, which became known as the Fox Island Council. Tensions continued though, until the Boldt Decision was signed in 1974 that extended fishing rights to Tribes.

Throughout the 20th century, the Tribe relied heavily on tobacco sales to others in Washington. After seeing how successful some of the other gambling ventures were from Tribes around the US, the Puyallup people decided to open a facility themselves. 

The Emerald Queen Casino was first opened in 1996. Rather than choosing a land-based casino, as almost all other retail properties are, the Puyallup people chose to open the Emerald Queen Casino as a paddlewheel riverboat. Since then, the Tribe has built a property beside the river.

Tribal Government

The first Puyallup Tribal Council was founded in 1936 and was formed from five members. In 1991, the council increased to account for seven members in total. 

In 2018, the Tribal Council adopted a new Vision and Mission for the Puyallup people. These included making sure that the Tribe is ‘educated, healthy, safe, stable and self-sufficient’ and that ‘our tribal businesses are thriving, providing adequate resources to support tribal membership needs for generations to come’.

The Council established a Puyallup Gaming Commission and signed a Tribal-State compact for Class III gaming on May 28, 1996. This has been amended five times since first established.

Tribal gaming operations

Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma

The original location of the paddleboat casino, Tacoma has since built a land-based property in the area. The new Emerald Queen Casino (EQC) Tacoma was a $400m project that opened in June 2020. 

The new venue has more than 2,100 slot machines and over 60 table games, including Chase the Flush, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker and Wheel of Fortune. As for the hotel, there are more than 150 rooms and suites for guests to choose from. 

EQC also has a 1,800-seat Emerald Queen Event Center, which hosts musicians, sports viewing parties, comedians and other performances.

In collaboration with BetMGM, EQC also offers a sportsbook experience in the casino as well as a mobile app.

Renovations

The Emerald Queen boat was purchased for $15m and opened for operations in 1996. It was permanently berthed in the Port of Tacoma.

As operations began to change, a temporary location was opened by Interstate 5 in 2001. This casino would get an expansion in 2004, when the original riverboat closed its operations.

The Emerald Queen would remain docked in the Port of Tacoma until 2023, when it was sold to a company in Seattle.

Emerald Queen Casino 

The EQC casino in Fife has over 2,300 slots on the gaming floor and 103 hotel rooms and suites. The property also has a 25,000sq ft event space and ballroom.

Renovations

The land-based property was purchased by the Tribe in 2004 as a Best Western hotel, and later opened in 2005 after original renovations.

A few years later the EQC Fife underwent its second set of renovations which added more parking garages, a pool, a spa, a new administrative area, the ballroom and an expanded gaming area.

Non-gaming operations

Chinook Landing Marina: As part of its efforts to secure its foothold in the Port of Tacoma, the Tribe announced an agreement on February 14th, 2008, with the Port itself and SSA Marine to build a shipping container terminal. 

Corporate Partners

BetMGM: Announced on October 4th 2021, BetMGM would enter an exclusive market access partnership with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians to open sportsbooks at the Emerald Queen Casino (EQC) properties. This would cover both the Fife and the Tacoma casino, as well as an online sportsbook app.

US Integrity: On January 31st, 2022, US Integrity partnered with Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma following the launch of the casino’s sportsbook. The company would provide integrity monitoring services via its proprietary dashboard and analyze data sets to identify irregular contest-level, officiating & wagering patterns.

Sounders FC: On September 7th, 2022, Seattle Sounders FC entered into a multi-year pitch naming rights partnership with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ Emerald Queen Casino (EQC). As part of this deal, the Lumen Field venue would be renamed Emerald Queen Casino Pitch.

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