Ducey and Tohono O’odham reach agreement

Ducey and Tohono O’odham reach agreement

May 18, 2017 12:24 PM

The long-running legal war between Arizona and a southern Arizona tribe ended on Wednesday with lawsuit settlement allowing the tribe to operate full-fledged gambling and sell alcohol at its casino in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.

 However, the tribe has agreed not to open additional gambling operations in metropolitan Phoenix.

The agreement between Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Tohono O’odham Nation centers on the tribe’s Desert Diamond Casino near Glendale.

The tribe opened the casino in late 2015 but the Ducey administration denied certification to operate full-fledged gambling. The governor said the tribe engaged in fraud because it didn’t disclose its plans for a casino in the Phoenix area while negotiating a gambling agreement with the state in 2003. 

As the Associated Press reports, the tribe sued and opened the casino with bingo-style slots and no alcohol license. The agreement ends an ongoing battle between the tribe and the state in federal court.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward D. Manuel said in a statement, “This is a day the Nation has long been working toward. It establishes an agreement concerning the Nation’s ability to conduct Class III gaming on its West Valley land and it brings to an end the final dispute that was constraining this important project.”

Ducey called the settlement a major victory for the state that guarantees reasonable restrictions on future casinos in metro Phoenix.