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Navajo Nation to Vote on Gambling

28 April 2004

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "The Navajo Nation will learn in August if the third time is a charm for approving gambling; last week the nation's council voted to let the people decide the controversial issue.

"The Navajo vote on Aug. 3 will follow a similar referendum scheduled for May 19 by the neighboring Hopi Tribe, which rejected gambling in a 1995 vote.

"Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. thinks his tribe will approve gambling eventually.

"…While both tribes have opposed gambling, pressing economic needs could change the political dynamic this time around.

"… Proposition 202, which state voters passed in 2002, allotted to the Navajo the rights to 2,400 slot machines and four casinos and granted the Hopi the rights to 900 machines and three casinos as part of a broader gambling expansion measure for Arizona tribes. The Navajo and Hopi may open casinos or lease their rights to tribes elsewhere in the state with gambling operations…"

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