State Recognizes Interior's Authority Over Tribal Gaming

Cheyenne, WY – The state of Wyoming will not seek a judge's order for the Northern Arapaho Tribe to enter new negotiations over a gambling compact. Attorney General Pat Crank filed papers in court Tuesday saying the state recognizes that the U-S Department of Interior has authority over gambling on the tribal lands. Crank noted that Governor Freudenthal has asked the Interior Secretary to look at requiring the tribe to pay the state $900,000. That's the amount the tribe had offered to pay in a compact proposal rejected by the state a few years ago. Northern Arapahoe officials say they're outraged Wyoming would seek payment under a compact the state itself rejected. They also say that the state has lost its legal battle to block tribal gambling operations. Northern Arapaho Business Council Chair Rick Brannan says that Freudenthal's attempt to force payment shows the state is desperate.