The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) is pleased to announce that the gaming compact between the Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico is approved in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It will go into effect July 1, 2015, pending publication in the Federal Register.
“This is an important milestone for the Navajo Nation and NNGE as it secures 800 high-quality jobs at our New Mexico properties and initiates Navajo Gaming’s next chapter of growth,” stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE. “We’re thankful to our leadership of Speaker Bates, the Navajo Nation Council – past and present, former President Shelly, and President Begaye for their steadfast efforts. We are also grateful for the patience and support of our employees and patrons in this process and thank our legal team and Navajo Nation Department of Justice for their diligence.
The Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyátí’ Committee gave its final approval of the Compact on December 29, followed by the New Mexico State Senate and House of Representatives approval shortly thereafter in their 2015 legislature. Then on April 13, 2015, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed the compact. Since that date, it has been under review by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The Compact includes five New Mexico tribes including the Navajo Nation and:
· Allows the Navajo Nation to operate four Class III locations
· Allows industry standards in the casino operations
· Matches revenue sharing of the 2007 compacts
· Expires in 25 years
“We can now move forward with planned upgrades as well as additional hiring and expansions at our properties,” stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE. “As an economic engine for New Mexico, northern Arizona and The Nation, the Compact approval means Navajo Gaming is free to continue our pattern of strategic growth as we create more jobs and opportunities in the future.”
About Navajo Gaming:
Navajo Gaming (The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise) is a Navajo Nation wholly-owned business entity created by the Navajo Nation in September 2006. NNGE is authorized by the Navajo Nation to develop and operate Navajo casinos in accordance with federal and Navajo Nation laws, as well as the negotiated Navajo Nation-applicable state compacts (New Mexico and Arizona).
Navajo Gaming opened its first Navajo Casino on November 19, 2008 – Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock Chapter, near Gallup, New Mexico. The second Navajo Casino opened October 13, 2010 – Flowing Water Navajo Casino in Tsé Daak’áán Chapter, near Shiprock, New Mexico. The third Navajo Casino opened January 16, 2012 – Northern Edge Navajo Casino – in Upper Fruitland Chapter, near Farmington, New Mexico. The fourth Navajo Casino – Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort – is located in Leupp Chapter, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Navajo Gaming has created 1,400 jobs.
Navajo Gaming’s vision includes job growth opportunities for Navajos, to continue returning revenue to the Navajo Nation and continue building the Navajo gaming and hospitality brand.