Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anthony Casino Gets Opposition From Mescalero Apache Tribe, Sunland Park Racetrack

Here is a note I saw in the October LFC newsletter I received in my email this morning:

The Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Sunland Park racetrack are opposing Jemez Pueblo’s proposal to build a casino and hotel near Anthony. The U.S. Interior Department rejected the plan for the casino 300 miles away from the pueblo in 2008 but is now reconsidering the decision. The Mescaleros and Sunland Park say the pueblo casino will hurt their businesses in southern New Mexico. The Mescaleros also object to the casino being built within their ancestral homelands.

The newsletter did not give the source for this information, but if it is correct, opposition from these two potential competitors would seem to be a serious obstacle. As I understand it in the few instances Native American Tribes have been allowed to purchase off-reservation land for the purpose of starting a casino, authorities made clear they would permit this only because there was no serious opposition to it. The Mescalero objection appears to be not only financial, but also cultural. I could easily be wrong in this assessment, however, since I am not an expert in the very complicated matter of tribal gaming law, regulations, and practice.

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