New Mexico gambling compact may violate federal law

Ponca City Now - January 27, 2015 8:28 am

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A federal official says proposed Indian gambling compacts to be considered by the New Mexico Legislature might violate federal law by effectively prohibiting an Oklahoma-headquartered tribe from opening a casino in southern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the official said a provision in the compacts proposed for four other tribes could prevent the Fort Sill Apache Tribe from opening a casino.

The official is Paula Hart, director of the Interior Department’s Office of Indian Gaming. She said in a letter to a New Mexico legislator that the provision might violate the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Under the provision, tribes could have casinos if they had eligible land before 1988. The Fort Sill tribe’s 30 acres near Deming weren’t made tribal trust land until 2002.


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