Four Arizona congressmen have sponsored legislation that would prohibit new casinos in the Phoenix metro area, effectively blocking the Tohono O’odham Nation’s proposed 0 million casino in Glendale. It would prevent such casinos in Maricopa or Pinal counties until 2027. The tribe, which operates three casinos, would still be able to build a fourth, but only in Pima County.
This is sort of a Hail Mary pass for opponents of the tribe, which has beaten them at every legal encounter so far. The land is in the unincorporated part of the state, although adjacent to the city of Glendale, which opposes the casino.
The tribe bought the land with money from a $30 million settlement the federal government made with the tribe after 10,000 acres of its original reservation was inundated by a federal dam project.
The area’s congressional delegation argues that the tribe’s plans violate Proposition 202, by which the state’s voters amended the constitution to allow Indian gaming.
“I’m co-sponsoring this legislation because it upholds the will of those voters and the overwhelming majority of tribes who participated in this historic effort,” said one of the congressmen, Trent Franks. Glendale is supporting the legislation.
Also supporting the bill is the Gila River Indian Community, which opposes the Glendale casino.