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Jemez Pueblo Lead Positive Forum in Anthony, New Mexico on Casino Plans

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Jemez Pueblo leaders recently promoted their off-reservation casino project at a public forum in Anthony, New Mexico, reported the The El Paso Times.

The tribe has partnered with Santa Fe art dealer Gerald Peters in hopes of building a $55 million hotel and casino in Anthony, along the Texas-New Mexico border, reported the Associated Press.

The pueblo's reservation in northern New Mexico between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is about 300 miles away from the proposed site.

"We will bring everything and pay our own way. That's the beauty of this project," adviser Benny Shendo Jr. said at the forum, The El Paso Times reported.

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The tribe expressed optimism about the project on the Monday, June 20 night forum, despite the fact that their plans still require approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), who has some concerns, stated The El Paso Times.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) issued a draft environmental impact statement for the casino, and public comments are being accepted until July 1, reported the Times. The New Mexico Indian Gaming Association Inc., which represents tribal casino operators, recently filed documents with the BIA opposing the plan, said Mark Chino, president of the Mescalero Apache tribe, which operates Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico near Ruidoso, reported the AP.