A petition filed by the Fort Sill Apache Tribe has been denied by the Supreme Court of New Mexico, involving gaming compact negotiations between the tribe and state governor Susana Martinez. The tribe was trying to force the governor’s hand to begin a Class III gaming agreement with the state in order to offer casino gaming on tribal lands.
In the petition, the tribe was asking for Martinez to be compelled to act after she has refused requests by the tribe for gaming permissions. In 2002, reservation lands of the tribe in the state were placed in a trust but the National Indian Gaming Commission has ruled that land cannot provide casino gaming.
The Fort Sill tribe is trying to see the ruling overturned in federal court, with Martinez not budging on the subject as she states the land has not been deemed eligible for casino activity to take place. According to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, gaming must take place on Indian lands where a tribe has jurisdiction. According to Martinez, the tribe will have to have Indian lands that are eligible before a compact can be negotiated.