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Arizona Tribes Apply for Ballot Measure

15 May 2002

PHOENIX, Arizona – As reported by the Associated Press: "Seventeen of Arizona's Indian tribes yesterday submitted an application for a ballot measure that would continue casino gambling on reservations for up to 23 years.

"The proposed initiative is very similar to a deal before the Legislature that the tribes negotiated with Gov. Jane Hull. Prospects for a legislative resolution are unclear, which increased the pressure on the tribes to take the matter directly to voters.

"…The coalition of tribes, which calls itself Arizonans for Fair Gaming and Indian Self-Reliance, must gather signatures from 101,762 registered voters by July 4 to qualify.

"…Under either the proposed initiative or the pending legislation, the tribes would be allowed to offer Las Vegas-style blackjack and could transfer unused slot machine rights to casinos where they could be put into play. In exchange, the state would have regulatory oversight and receive up to 8 percent of the profits.

"The initiative also provides an extra 1,000 slot machines for the Navajo Nation and requires the state to spend its share on specific programs for education, health care, wildlife and habitat conservation and local government services…"

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