Bill opens up new front in Glendale casino dispute - WNEM TV 5

Bill opens up new front in Glendale casino dispute

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Artist's conception of the planned casino in Glendale Artist's conception of the planned casino in Glendale
GLENDALE, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More mayors in Arizona are pushing for Congress to approve a bill that would halt a planned casino in Glendale, to be built by the Tohono O'odham nation.  Glendale leaders, however, are opposing the bill, seeking to negotiate with the tribe.

On Tuesday, the Glendale City Council directed staff to begin formal talks aimed at resolving an ongoing dispute over the West Valley Resort and Casino.  Several informal talks have already taken place.  City leaders have been concerned about the layout and need for services at the $550 million hotel and gaming complex.  

Other tribes have gone to court over the casino, saying it violates a 2002 voter-approved initiative that keeps new casinos from being built in the Phoenix area.  The Tohono O'odham nation has prevailed in the legal fight so far, saying the casino is being built under a land settlement with the federal government, which is exempt from the initiative.

Several cities in the Phoenix area are backing approval of H.R. 1410, called the Keep The Promise act.  It prohibits any additional tribal casinos in the metro-Phoenix area until tribal-state gaming compacts expire in 2027.  At that time, the compacts will be up for renegotiation.

Mayors from Apache Junction and Fountain Hills have just announced their support for the bill, which already has backing from Scottsdale, Tempe, Litchfield Park, Gilbert and Glendale.

The bill has passed the house, but it awaits a Senate hearing.

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