LAS CRUCES, NM – The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has subpoenaed the
Fort Sill Apache Tribe for information about poker tournaments held by the tribe
at their casino site in Akela, New Mexico.
The NIGC is the federal commission that regulates tribal gambling. They want a
description of the tournament, the names of players, and the names of employees.
If the tribe ignores the subpoena, the commission may seek court action and an
order of contempt of court.
Fort Sill Apache Chairman Jeff Houser has previously said the poker tournaments
were intended to force the commission to take formal action against the tribe.
That in turn would give the tribe a basis to sue the government. In a letter
Tuesday, Houser said the tribe was reluctant to provide information for fear it
would be passed to state gaming officials, who also are investigating the June
22nd tournament at the casino.
Houser wants written assurance that the commission and the Department of Justice
will not use the information "to prosecute our employees or customers or that
the information will not be provided to the state of New Mexico."
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