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Consultants Pitch Casino Plans to Navajo

4 February 2004

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "The Navajo Nation could open several financially viable casinos, including one on the reservation's western edge near Flagstaff and busy Interstate 40, gambling consultants told two tribal committees Monday.

"The tribe, whose land spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, rejected gambling referendums in the 1990s. But the Tribal Council in August agreed to allow a satellite chapter in New Mexico to open a casino far removed from the reservation.

"…In Arizona, the tribe has rights to 2,400 slot machines and four casinos under the Proposition 202 gambling agreement that voters approved in 2002. To date, the tribe has not acted on its allocation.

"…Consultants from MAC Gaming of Atlantic City, believe gambling could produce $35 million to $40 million and 1,200 jobs in its first year, according to a written statement from the Navajo Nation.

"…Peterson Zah, chairman of the Navajo Nation from 1983 to 1987 and president from 1990 to 1994, believes gambling can work if done right…"

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