8:58am

Wed February 19, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico House Oks Navajo Gambling Compact

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has approved a tribal-state gambling compact allowing the Navajo Nation to open three additional casinos.

The proposal cleared the House Tuesday on a 36-30 vote. It goes to the Senate with the legislative session nearing an end. Lawmakers will adjourn Thursday.

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

The proposed compact would permit the state's largest tribe to phase in three new casinos over 15 years.

The gambling proposal is opposed by some other pueblos and tribes, which worry that their casinos will be hurt if the Navajos open more casinos.

The proposed compact must be approved by the Legislature and the Interior Department to take effect.