SANTA FE – More than $10.1 million in gambling revenues generated by Pojoaque Pueblo over a two-year period were seized by the federal government last month.
The money is an unresolved issue left over from a dispute between the pueblo and New Mexico state government over revenue sharing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Feb. 9 took control of a bank account set up to hold a portion of Pojoaque slot machine revenues that would have otherwise gone to the state under a state compact agreement dating from 2005 that expired in 2015. The money was to be distributed after the dispute was resolved, either through negotiations or by court action.
In April 2017, a federal appeals court upheld an earlier ruling that required Pojoaque to negotiate a new compact with Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, not the U.S. Interior Department – in effect mandating that the pueblo agree to the state’s terms for increased revenue sharing.