LAS CRUCES,NM - Governor Bill Richardson ordered 50 state police today to block
roads to the Fort Sill Apache land at Akela Flats where the tribe is preparing
to open a new casino. Akela Flats is in Luna County about 40 miles west of Las
Last month the tribe announced plans to connect 8 portable buildings as a
temporary 11,000-square-foot casino for high-stakes bingo games and a few table
games for which the house does not bank the winnings.
The New Mexico Gaming Control Board learned the casino could open any day now,
so Governor Richardson decided to take this action because he had no assurances
from the federal government that it would approve or reject the casino. He said
"We have emphatically stated our opposition to what clearly would be an illegal
gaming operation in the state of New Mexico. Because the federal government is
abdicating its responsibility, I have no choice but to take immediate and
forceful action to protect the citizens of New Mexico and the integrity of our
For the reaction from the Fort Sill Apache tribe, visit their website at www.
fortsillapache.com for the article entitled "New Mexico Governor Illegally
Blocks Access To Federal Recognized Indian Land ."
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