Dispute between Arizona and Tohono O'Odham nation now settled

- A year-long dispute between the State of Arizona and the Tohono O'Odham nation is now over.

The settlement means expanded gambling and alcohol sales will be permitted at the Desert Diamond Casino, near Glendale.

The announcement between the Native American nation and the state government gives the casino green light on what officials describe as a massive $300 million expansion project, that will feature slots, table games, as well as alcohol sale.

In addition, the expansion project would include a hotel and a convention center.

The framework was first announced back in November, when the other Native tribes running casinos in the state said they wanted more gaming in their facilities. In exchange, they would let Desert Diamond become fully operational.

The deal is crucial to the City of Glendale, as the city is dealing with a degree of entertainment and economic uncertainty. The Arizona Coyotes have announced they are searching for a new home in the Valley, and could leave the area altogether. Meanwhile, the University of Phoenix has pulled out of a multimillion dollar stadium naming rights deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

Senator John McCain applauded the deal on Wednesday, and issued the following statement.

"While I continue to oppose the air-dropping of Indian casinos on land that is not contiguous to an existing reservation, the agreement reached by Governor Ducey and the Tohono O’odham Tribe brings to an end years of prolonged litigation over this issue and eliminates the need for federal legislation. The controversy involving the Tohono O'odham gaming facility in Glendale has divided Arizona's Indian tribes for years, and I hope this agreement will heal those divisions.”

 

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