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Best of Howard Stutz

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Howard Stutz
 

Indian casino planned for Arizona

29 December 2010

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona -- Las Vegas casinos may soon see competition about four hours to the east.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has signed final documents taking 405 acres of land into trust for the Navajo Nation about 20 miles outside Flagstaff, Ariz.

The deal may pave way for construction of the $120 million Twin Arrows Casino, the Navajo Nation's fourth casino but the tribe's first in Arizona.

The development will include a gaming facility, a golf course and a hotel.

The land acquisition connects the Leupp Navajo Chapter to Interstate 40 and will provide infrastructure to many Navajos who currently have no electricity or water.

Union Gaming Group principal Bill Lerner said the deal is similar to a tribal land acquisition in New York that benefited a Wisconsin Indian tribe.

"Recent decisions … further underscore state and federal governments' accommodative position for tribes and tribal gaming expansion," Lerner told investors.