Judge rules for Native American pueblos in revenue dispute
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has ruled that the state has no right to the tens of millions of dollars in back revenue it charged six northern New Mexico pueblos.
The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported on Monday that the New Mexico Gaming Control Board contended that the Native American tribes owed New Mexico more than $60 million, by some estimates, for revenues earned from so-called free-play credits — the popular, randomly distributed gambling credits that casinos load onto gambling cards to entice gamblers to play slots.
The acting executive director of the state’s Gaming Control Board, Donovan Lieurance, whose members are defendants in the case, says he only recently was made aware of the case and cannot comment.
A spokeswoman for the governor’s office says Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is reviewing the case.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com