State-run ‘keno’ lottery game not so keen, say tribe, conservative lobby

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Sun

Plans for what could be an instant state-run numbers game hit a snag Wednesday as an attorney for the state’s largest tribe warned lawmakers it would blow up a decades-old agreement.

Steven Hart told members of the Senate Government Committee that the 2002 compacts between tribes and the state give them the exclusive right to operate casino-style games. In exchange, he said the tribes share about $100 million a year in profits.

But Hart, who represents the Navajo Nation, said all that is contingent on the state not expanding into areas now strictly limited to reservations. And he said a plan by Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, to have the state operate keno games — perhaps multiple times an hour — violates that deal.

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