Paulene Thomas named new gaming director to Navajo Nation
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Apr. 20, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez congratulated Paulene Thomas on her confirmation to be executive director of the Navajo Gaming Regulatory Office.
“Director Thomas will be responsible for regulating all four casinos located on the Navajo Nation,” Begaye said. “We are glad to have qualified Navajo people work to improve and provide efficient services for the Navajo Nation.”
Thomas was confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council by a vote of 14-1.
“I am appreciative of my confirmation,” she said. “I want to thank President Begaye and Vice President Nez for their confidence in me and the Navajo Nation Council in confirming that. I enjoy the job, the staff and the challenges. The goal of NGRO is to make it better and continue to protect the assets of the Navajo Nation, as well as the integrity of the games we offer at the casinos.”
Thomas served as the interim executive director since June of 2014. She was also the deputy executive director from Apr. 2012 to June of 2014. Thomas has a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in General Management.
The Navajo Nation Gaming Regulatory Office is responsible to regulate and ensure the integrity of gaming on the Navajo Nation. They maintain a comprehensive regulation of all persons, practices, and activities related to the operation of the Nation’s gaming facilities.
“We are delighted to have Director Thomas on board as the executive director,” Nez said. “We appreciate her knowledge and skill set to ensure we are compliant with all tribal, state and federal gaming laws,”
The Navajo Nation Gaming Regulatory Office regulates and enforces all tribal and federal gaming regulations, statutes and the state compacts with Arizona and New Mexico for the Nation. The laws include, but are not limited to, the Navajo Nation Tribal Gaming Ordinance, Arizona and New Mexico State Gaming Compacts and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Navajo Nation Gaming Regulatory Office regulates three casinos in New Mexico and one in Arizona.