Navajo Will Lease Slot Machines to Other AZ Casinos
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January 28, 2008
WINDOW ROCK, AZ - Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley announced today his tribe
will lease slot machines to other Arizona tribes with existing casinos.
The Navajo Nation has the right to operate 1,400 slot machines, but will not
open its first casino until July 4th this summer. That will be a temporary
casino near Gallup, New Mexico, and will be followed by four more casinos built
over the next few years in Northern Arizona.
The leases will be auctioned and should earn $140 million for the Navajos
through the next 18 years. The Gila River Indian Community said they have won
the rights to lease 411 of the Navajo slot machines. They operates 3 casinos
near Chandler and Laveen. Other leases have not been disclosed.
The Navajo have ancient legends against gambling, so many fear the casinos will
bring gambling addictions to their members. They also fear the legalization of
alcohol in their casinos.
The Navajo plan to build their first Arizona casino 20 miles east of Flagstaff
near I-40. It will be named Twin Arrows. Shirley said "This site provides the
best chance throughout the Navajo Nation for the development of a destination
resort. In addition to the casino, which will have about 800 slot machines,
plans include a hotel, RV Park and conference center, as well as other
Three other casinos are planned for Northern Arizona. One will be at Cameron,
one at Page, and the last one is still to be determined.
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