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AG Madrid Responds to New Mexico Tribe's Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit

15 September 2000

ALBUQUERQUE , NEW MEXICO – Sept. 15, 2000 -- As reported by The Associated Press: "Attorney General Patricia Madrid says her lawsuit seeking to force tribes that operate casinos to pay revenue sharing or shut down is simply about the Legislature's ability to protect its own interests in allowing Indian casinos.

"The case is not about an illegal tax, but rather the state's ability to enforce the terms of a contract it entered into with the tribes, Madrid wrote in a response filed Friday to a motion by several tribes last month to dismiss the lawsuit.

"…The lawsuit said requiring revenue-sharing is legal, but that if the judge disagrees, he should throw out the entire compacts, not just the revenue-sharing portion, because they are related and inseparable.

"The tribes have said they would live by a federal court decision on whether revenue sharing is legal, but argued Madrid lawsuit tried to change the stakes to make sure the state could not lose.

"Madrid's response said tribes admit they chose to enter into gambling compacts in 1997 after reviewing options. She said the situation tribes found themselves in at the time was of their own making.

"…Last month, after filing their motion, tribal spokesmen said the current compact amounts to an illegal tax on tribal governments, an argument they made in signing the compacts under protest in 1997.

"Madrid said revenue sharing payments cannot be construed as a tax in violation of the Indian gambling law…"

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