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Editorial: Proposed Pojoaque Pueblo compact hurts New Mexico

Filed Under: Compacts | Opinion
More on: new mexico, pueblo

The Buffalo Thunder Resort in New Mexico. Photo from Facebook / Cornell & Company / Mike Wilson

New Mexico newspaper opposes Class III gaming compact being proposed by Pojoaque Pueblo:
Pojoaque took its proposal to the U.S. Department of the Interior after negotiations with the Gov. Susana Martinez administration broke down over the existing compact. Among issues in dispute, the state wanted to gradually increase the state’s cut from 8 percent to 10.5 percent.

The tribe sued the state in federal court alleging bad faith. A judge threw the lawsuit out in March, citing the state’s sovereign immunity. The tribe believes that makes it eligible for a process under which the department’s secretary could issue a compact. Interior notified the offices of the governor and Attorney General Gary King that on May 9, Pojoaque had submitted its gambling proposal. They have 60 days to submit comments or alternative proposals.

It seems unlikely the federal government would cut the state out of the gaming picture after it approved Indian gaming and limited other non-Indian gambling activities and racinos.

But if it does, the consequences could be significant. No longer would the state have oversight of some gaming operations, but state taxpayers would still be on the hook to provide services to contend with the negative consequences associated with gaming – compulsive gambling, drug and alcohol abuse, increased crime and poor work attendance. Lowering the gambling age would lure in younger gamblers who can ill afford to lose and who should be paying off college loan debt and working their way up a career ladder.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Pojoaque’s bid for federal compact bad play for NM (The Albuquerque Journal 7/29)

Related Stories:
Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo (7/28)
Pojoaque Pueblo defends provisions in proposed gaming deal (7/25)

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