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Court settlement could affect tribal casino opening

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KOB Albuquerque Mar. 02, 2008. 07:29 PM EST

FORT SILL APACHE TRIBE OFFICIALS SAY A 2007 COURT SETTLEMENT IN OKLAHOMA GIVES THEM LEGAL GROUNDS TO OPEN A CASINO ON THEIR ANCESTRAL LAND IN NEW MEXICO. LAST WEEK GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON ORDERED STATE POLICE TO BLOCK ACCESS TO THE TRIBE'S CASINO --OFF INTERSTATE 10 NEAR DEMING. HE WAS WORRIED THE CASINO WAS OPENING ITS DOORS. THE FEDS THEN ADVISED THE FORT SILL TRIBE NOT TO OPEN THE CASINO. THE TRIBE DOES NOT HAVE A RESERVATION IN OKLAHOMA. ITS LEADERS SAY A TRIBE THAT'S GRANTED A RESERVATION FOR THE FIRST TIME IS EXEMPT FROM A LAW THAT PROHIBITS GAMING ON MOST TRIBAL LAND TRUSTS.

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