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Navajos looking to break ground on new New Mexico casino

Upper Fruitland, New Mexico (AP) August 2010

Navajo gaming officials are hoping to break ground this fall on a major casino to be built in the Upper Fruitland Chapter in northwest New Mexico. The tribe hopes the project leads to the creation of 400 jobs.

The chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise says the tribe is facing 56 percent unemployment.

Gaming facilities are a high priority for the Navajo Nation, which joined the gaming industry decades after Indian gaming became legal.

A second major Navajo tribal casino is planned near Flagstaff. It is unclear if Flagstaff or Upper Fruitland will be constructed first.

Two smaller projects are under way, one in the Hogback Chapter in New Mexico and the other in Chinle, Ariz.

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