Land Acquisitions | NIGC
New Mexico governor cheers NIGC opinion on casino

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) claimed victory on Wednesday in a casino fight with the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.

In a press release, Richardson said an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission supports his view that the tribe's proposed Class II facility is illegal. He said he will direct the state police to block access to the gaming site if the tribe tries to open the casino.

The tribe has 30 acres in trust in southern New Mexico. The land was acquired after 1988 so the NIGC analyzed whether the tribe met any of the exceptions in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act .

NIGC's acting general counsel Penny Coleman rejected all of the tribe's arguments in the opinion. The tribe, however, is still waiting on a reservation proclamation decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that could clear the way for gaming at the site.

Get the Story:
Feds deal blow to Akela casino (The Las Cruces Sun-News 5/22)
Lawyer: Tribe Has No Basis for Casino (AP 5/22)