- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has signed a compact with the state of New Mexico that allows the tribe to continue operating its casinos for another two decades.

The gambling compact recently cleared the New Mexico Legislature. It needs final approval from the U.S. Interior Department.

The compact was the result of three years of negotiations with Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration.

New Mexico lawmakers were under pressure to approve the compact since existing revenue-sharing agreements with the state are set to expire at the end of June. Without a new compact, the Navajos and some other tribes would not be able to legally operate their casinos.

The Navajos say their three casinos generated nearly $80 million last year, and more than $6 million went to the state for revenue-sharing payments.

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