Panel recommends new NM gambling compact approval

Posted at: 03/12/2013 1:31 PM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A legislative panel is recommending that New Mexico lawmakers approve a gambling compact with the Navajo Nation allowing it to operate five casinos.

The state's largest Indian tribe and Gov. Susana Martinez want the Legislature to approve the gambling agreement before adjourning Saturday.

The Committee on Compacts voted 11-4 on Tuesday in support of the new compact, which would allow the state to collect more revenue from casino proceeds.

The Navajos operate two Las Vegas-style casinos under a compact expiring in 2015.

The new compact would run until 2037, and supporters say the longer term should help the Navajos secure financing for economic development projects.

The state currently receives up to 8 percent of slot machine proceeds, but the revenue sharing could reach 10.75 percent in the new compact.

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