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Casino Proposal Ignites Turf Wars

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe has crossed another hurdle in its ongoing attempt to build a casino on its new reservation.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently sent a letter to the governor and other officials in New Mexico saying it has determined the tribe's reservation east of Deming is eligible for gaming, and it has begun the process of reviewing the tribe's request to build a casino on the 30-acre tract along Interstate 10.

But as the tribe moves forward with its plans, it has reignited old turf wars with the state over its true intent and with other tribes concerned about competition for gamblers.

Tribal Chairman Jeff Haozous says the tribe, currently based in southwest Oklahoma, needs the casino to get income to buy more land to help its members return to its homelands.