New Mexico House OKs Navajo gambling compact

February 18, 2014 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposed tribal-state gambling compact that would allow the Navajo Nation to open additional casinos cleared the House on Tuesday. But one more hurdle remains before the Legislature adjourns this week.

The compact must be approved by the House and Senate, as well as the U.S. Interior Department, to take effect.

The House approved the proposal on a 36-30 vote and sent it to the Senate to consider as the legislative session neared an end. Lawmakers will adjourn on Thursday.

The Navajos — New Mexico’s largest American Indian tribe— contend that the new compact is critical for future economic development and to protect its existing casinos.

“It’s a good thing for the people,” Navajo President Ben Shelly told reporters after the vote.

The tribe negotiated the proposed agreement with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration.

The Navajos operate two Las Vegas-style casinos in New Mexico — near Login to read more

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