Hopi last of Arizona tribes to sign gambling agreement - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Hopi last of Arizona tribes to sign gambling agreement

By FELICIA FONSECA
Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Hopi Tribe is exploring the gambling business.

The tribe signed an agreement with Arizona this week that allows it to lease or operate up to 900 slot machines. It's the last of Arizona's 22 tribes to do so.

Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie (hoh-NAH'-nee) signed the compact a day before his term expired. The new chairman, Tim Nuvangyaoma (new-VONG'-yow-mah), took office Friday.

The tribe faces economic uncertainties with the expected closure of a coal mine in 2019. The royalties make up about 85 percent of the Hopi budget.

It's unclear whether the tribe is leaning toward leasing slot machines to be used in another tribe's casino or opening its own casino.

Hopi voters have rejected gambling at least twice before. Honanie has said opinions change and gambling should be considered.

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