Watchman Concerned About Smoking Prohibition

Navajo Nation Chief Executive Officer Derrick Watchman (l.) recently said a smoking ban at the tribe's New Mexico and Arizona casinos "could be detrimental." More than 30 communities throughout the reservation have adopted smoking bans in public places. So far, the tribe's casinos have been spared.

Derrick Watchman, a member of the Navajo Nation and chief executive officer of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise recently expressed concern about the anti-smoking movement that’s taking hold throughout the tribe’s reservation. To date, more than 30 Navajo communities have passed resolutions to prohibit smoking in public places, although none of them have impacted the tribe’s casinos in New Mexico and Arizona–yet.

Watchman said, “Our position has been that it could be detrimental. There are studies out there that suggest smoking bans really, really impact revenue. And with limited revenue you can only employ so much.”

Currently, other tribes in New Mexico and Arizona also do not have smoking bans at their facilities.