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New Mexico Gambling News Brief


State police ready to block tribal gaming


Associated Press,  Friday, February 29, 2008 at 8:17:46 AM

A phalanx of law enforcement officers massed Thursday near a budding high-stakes bingo parlor in southern New Mexico that Gov. Bill Richardson and federal officials say is an illegal casino.

Oklahoma's Fort Sill Apache Tribe built the bingo parlor on a 30-acre site along Interstate 10 in Akela, west of Las Cruces. The governor's office says bingo or any other gambling there would be illegal, and that the tribe had agreed not to conduct such operations there when the land was taken into federal trust in 2002.

Richardson ordered state police Wednesday to block access to the parlor if gambling was taking place, and officers were at the ready Thursday. About a dozen New Mexico State Police and Motor Transportation Division squad cars gathered at a large dirt lot near the parlor, Peter Olson, state Department of Public Safety spokesman, said in a telephone call from the scene.


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