Casino Under Federal Investigation
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.
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
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.’
a news conference last week, two recently fired Casino Apache slot
managers criticized casino managers for what they called bad
“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.