Land Based Casinos in the Southwest

Published January 18, 2007 by OCR Editor

Land Based Casinos in the Southwest

Will the native Tigua tribe get the permission it seeks to build yet another land based casino in New Mexico? After having its Texas gambling operation shut down four years ago, in 2002, the Indian tribe from the Lone Star State wished to rebuild and cont

The problem is at this point in time that a land based casino in close proximity to the suggested site is lobbying against the new competition entering its region. The Sunland Park Race Track and Casino, opposing the Tigua one, is only 15 miles away from the suggested site and wishes to prevent an overdose of sorts in the region, or as they put it, "one on every corner."

The Tigua tribe's previous gambling venue, in Texas, was very successful. Starting only with bingo and then moving on to slot machines in the mid nineties, the tribe had as many as 100,000 gamblers every month for a long time. The annual income generated by the tribe from its gambling operation alone reached as high as $60 million those years. Then came the year 2002 and a Texas court's order to shut down the operations for breaking gambling laws. The tribe has since reorganized and formed the plan to reopen in neighboring New Mexico.

So will the Tigua Indians be granted into New Mexico with their initiative? The state's governor Bill Richardson's office has yet to comment on the proposal. It is reported that the state is in the middle of reviewing the gambling venues and their impact on the state itself and the competition between them. The tribe is not alone in its planning to make the state into a land based casino center, a mini-Las Vegas Strip. Other institutes are in different stages of planning and authorizations to be built, one by an art dealer from Santa Fe, another by an Oklahoma-based tribe, and more.

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