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Fort Sill Apache Tribe cites land settlement for casino

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma has trust land in New Mexico but can it be used for gaming? That's the question everyone is trying to answer.

Chairman Jeff Houser says a March 2007 court settlement [PDF] allows the tribe to use the 30-acre site in southern New Mexico for a Class II facility. But he says the Bureau of Indian Affairs is delaying a decision to declare the land as a reservation.

"We don't believe they've timely processed our request," Houser told The Las Cruces Sun-News.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D) doesn't think the land can be used for a casino. Last week, he ordered about 50 state troopers to block access to the site in case any gaming activities were taking place.

The National Indian Gaming Commission hasn't made a final decision but a preliminary letter last week warned the tribe not to open the facility.

Get the Story:
Tribe bets future of Akela Flats casino project on settlement in Oklahoma lawsuit (The Las Cruces Sun-News 3/2)