SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gambling compacts negotiated by the state and a handful of American Indian tribes have cleared their final hurdle.
The U.S. Interior Department reviewed the compacts but took no action. Under federal law, the agreements are considered approved by the agency as long as they’re consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn, spelled out some concerns the department had with the compacts in a four-page letter sent Tuesday to Gov. Susana Martinez and tribal leaders.
Washburn pointed to an apparent increase in revenue sharing rates for some tribes, but he acknowledged that the agreements had the support of the tribes.
Under the compacts, the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla and Mescalero Apache nations and three pueblos can operate casinos for another two decades.