Panel Asks Navajos To Renegotiate Gaming Compact

Feb 1, 2014

   A legislative panel is asking the Navajo Nation and Gov. Susana Martinez's administration to renegotiate a proposed compact to restrict the state's largest tribe to their existing casinos rather than allowing an expansion of gambling.

The Committee on Compacts voted 9-5 on Friday to recommend negotiators return to the bargaining table.

Navajo officials made it clear they oppose changing a provision that would allow the tribe to open three additional casinos.

The Navajos operate two Las Vegas-style casinos in New Mexico under a compact expiring next year. A third Navajo casino offers low-stakes gambling not subject to state regulation.

Laguna and Acoma pueblos contend their casinos would be hurt if the Navajos expand gambling. Other tribes worry the Navajo agreement will set a precedent for future compacts.

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