Y-A Nation expected to sign new compact

Gov. Jane Hull and 10 tribal leaders signed new gaming compacts Dec. 4.

"The voters of Arizona passed Proposition 202, which was based on my negotiation with Arizona Indian tribes over the past three years," Hull said. "These compacts symbolized the new partnership I have endeavored to build between Arizona and tribal governments. Building and nurturing this partnership is vital to the future of our state."

Eight tribes signing new compacts included the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Gila River Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Tohono O'Odham Nation, Tonto Apache Tribe and White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Two tribes that currently do not offer gaming also signed. They were the Hualapai Indian Tribe and the Havasupai Indian Tribe. The U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the compacts before they are finalized.

Although the local Yavapai-Apache Nation was not on the list, one official confirmed that the Nation is working toward a similar end. Its compact expires next year.

The Y-A Nation has holdings in both Camp Verde and Clarkdale and is owner of the Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde. They also were part of the 17-tribe coalition behind Prop. 202 that voters approved at the General Election on Nov. 5. Fifty-one percent of the voters favoring continued and expanded gaming on reservation lands.

"At this point it's safe to say for now that the Y-A Nation is working on the compact, but that we don't yet have a firm estimate on when it will be ready to present to the governor for signing," confirmed Fred Sanchez, Nation vice chairman.

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