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Attorney: Tribes, City Need Clear Contract

22 September 2005

ARIZONA -- As reported by the Pueblo Chieftain: "The key to a successful relationship between an Indian-owned casino and a host city is a well-written contract - called a memorandum of understanding, according to an Arizona attorney who specializes in Indian gaming regulations.

"'They can be very successful relationships, but like any other contract, you need to cover all the details in the agreement,' said Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier of the Phoenix firm of Snell & Wilmer Indian and Gaming Law Practice Group.

"…Staudenmaier said that for Pueblo, as well as the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, which would own the proposed local casino, the details of who provides law enforcement, fire protection, utilities and how any disputes are resolved should all be part of their final memorandum of understanding. Even language binding future tribal and city leadership to the agreement can be included.

"…The proposed Pueblo project would be based on a land settlement claim by the Oklahoma tribes, meaning any reservation or trust site awarded by the Department of Interior would be in recognition of tribal claims…"

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