Will Navajos take a gamble?

  Navajo President Peterson Zah recently vetoed a tribal ordinance that would have laid the groundwork for legalized gambling on the tribe's reservation. But his rejection doesn't mean gambling is dead for the Four Corners tribe. In July, the Navajo Nation Council passed the gaming ordinance spelling out procedures for acquiring licenses, deterrents to criminal activity and types of gambling allowed. In his veto message Aug. 5, Zah said many residents told him they oppose gambling, but he wants all 175,000 tribal members to vote on the issue, reports AP. "It is time for the Navajo Nation to begin requesting the views of the Navajo people on issues which affect all Navajo people." Zah said his veto of the ordinance won't stop ongoing negotiations between the tribe and the states of Arizona and New Mexico over state compacts required by the federal Indian gaming act. A vote in favor of gambling would strengthen the Nation's negotiating hand, he added. In April, a consultant hired by the tribe said the tribe could net $38 million and 2,710 permanent jobs in one year if it opened gaming halls at five locations.

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