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Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs

For Immediate Release: Jan. 24, 2003
Contact: Nedra Darling

BIA Approves Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Aurene M. Martin today approved gaming compacts between the State of Arizona and 17 of the state's 22 Federally recognized tribes. "I congratulate the tribes and the State of Arizona for successfully completing the compacting process, and wish them much success in their economic venture," Martin said. The compacts will take effect when notice of the BIA's approval is published in the Federal Register. The compacts supersede and replace any existing compacts between the State and the tribes.

The compacts require the tribes to contribute a limited percentage of their Class III Net Win, defined as "gross gaming revenue, which is the difference between gaming wins and losses, before deducting costs and expenses," to the State based on a sliding scale, in exchange for substantial exclusive rights to operate Class III gaming devices and other Class III gaming activities. The compacts also authorize the tribes to operate a variety of Class III gaming activities including blackjack, keno and pari-mutual wagering on horse and dog racing.

The tribes whose compacts were approved are: Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai Tribe, Hualapai Indian Tribe, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Quechan Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O'odham Nation, Tonto Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe and Yavapai-Apache Nation.

The BIA's review of the compacts concluded that they do not violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), federal law or its trust obligation to Indians.

The Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs has responsibility for fulfilling the Department's trust responsibility to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and individuals, as well as promoting tribal self-determination and economic development. The Assistant Secretary also oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is responsible for providing services to approximately 1.4 million American Indians and Alaska Natives from the nation's 562 Federally recognized tribes.


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