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New Mexico Gambling News Brief

Navajos plan tribe's first casino

Houston Chronicle,  Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 5:11:13 PM

The Navajo Nation is shying away from using a $100 million line of credit to finance its first casino and instead is tapping a tribal trust fund to ensure the casino will be operating by midsummer.

Negotiations with JP Morgan Chase on the line of credit slowed after the institution requested that the tribe put up 125 percent collateral as a term of the loan agreement, said council Delegate LoRenzo Bates, who serves on the tribe's Investment Committee.

"We're not going to sign it, so we had to look for alternative funding sources," he said.

Tribal officials on Tuesday turned to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund that was developed to consolidate the checkerboard of Indian and non-Indian land around the reservation. Officials plan to use $35 million from the $56 million fund, which they say is more than sufficient to build the tribe's first casino in Church Rock near Gallup. the source
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