A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals is hearing the case involving the Tohono O’odham Nation’s attempt to locate a casino in a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz.
Local and state officials are opposing the tribe’s efforts to build a 150,000 square-foot casino on land the tribe purchased in 2003 and turned into an Indian reservation. The U.S. Department of the Interior declared the Glendale, Ariz., property a reservation in 2010.
Opponents cite the need for greater fire, police and other civic requirements in an area not equipped to accommodate a Las Vegas-style resort. Also, they note a high school is located a few blocks from where the casino is to be erected.
The state’s legal counsel said permitting the casino but denying the city, county and state officials any authority over the project makes the concept of local control "nothing more than an illusion."