WyBETT
                             Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
WyBETT   Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
 
Mescalero Casino Under Federal Investigation


 In an article in the Albuquerque Journal Southern Bureau on Wednesday, May 3, 2000, reporter Rene Romo wrote that a National Indian Gaming Commission spokesman confirmed that federal violations were lodged  against the Mescalero Apache Tribe's casino for IGRA violations.
     The article reported:  “Kyle Nayback, director of public affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based commission, would not provide the number of violations lodged against Casino Apache but said the total was ‘substantially lower’ than 160.
    “Tribal Council member Harlyn Geronimo has said that three months ago an investigator with the commission, the federal agency that regulates casino gambling on reservations, informed the tribe's governing body that Casino Apache had about 160 violations of federal gaming regulations.
    “Nayback declined to provide specific details about the nature of the violations, saying it is a confidential matter between the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the federal agency.
    “Mescalero Apache President Sara Misquez could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
    “Nayback also took pains to add that, with casinos subject to about 1,600 federal gambling standards, it would not be unusual for a tribal casino to be found in violation of some.”  That’s pretty generous, considering the violations approach 10% of the national standards.
    The article continues, “ ‘If the tribe is out of compliance in a few areas, it could still
reflect a good-running operation,’ Nayback said.
    " ‘The tribe is working toward correcting those problems,’ he added. ‘We find that most tribes are eager to get in compliance with the law, and Mescalero is working with us to correct those problems.’
     “At a news conference last week, two recently fired Casino Apache slot managers criticized casino managers for what they called bad management procedures.
    “The slot managers said, among other things, that casino management did not conduct an internal investigation or inventory old slot machine tokens immediately after being informed that $100 tokens from Casino Apache were appearing in Las Vegas, Nev., slot machines in early April.
    “Other tribal members have demanded a general meeting so that Mescalero Apaches can question Misquez about rumors of financial problems at the casino.”

     Since tens of thousands of dollars in Mescalero slot machine tokens showed up in Las Vegas, we can assume that the violations were substantial and continued for some time.  The state representative in charge of monitoring tribal records, George McGeorge, reported in legislative meetings that the Mescalero tribe and other tribes have refused to give him access to their records, in violation of the tribal compacts.