10TH CIRCUIT COURT RULES AGAINST POJOAQUE VENDORS
Vendors to the Pojoaque tribal casino are now prevented by law from supplying the casino. The newest twist in the battle between the Pueblo of Pojoaque and the State of New Mexico is that the 10th Circuit Federal Court in Denver threw out the lawsuit filed by Pojoaque restraining the state from prohibiting vendors from supplying goods and services to the tribal casino.
The state had won in the first case decided by the local Federal District Court, which prompted the lawsuit filed by Pojoaque. The result is that many of the casino games had been shut down, and the tribe complained that this further action could shut down their operations.
The state acted on the basis that the pueblo had let their state/tribal compact expire in July of 2015, so that the casino was in violation of federal and state law. The previous federal administration took the position of protecting the tribe from being closed and had been working on a compact without state involvement. The Pojoaque Pueblo also has a lawsuit challenging the state and accusing it of “bad faith” in their negotiations.
Pojoaque will most likely appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court
An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican about the federal court decision can be read by clicking here.
It is distressing to see how the gambling industry can violate state and federal law with little being done over such a protracted period of time. It has been two years since Pojoaque violated the terms of their contract. Most all other businesses that violate federal law would have locks slapped on their doors immediately. As with all state regulated gambling, tribal casinos are exempt from truth-in-advertising laws and “duty of care” protections that all productive businesses are required to obey.
It’s time for the government (state and tribal) to get out of the predatory gambling racket.