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Intense legal fight over proposed Glendale casino moves to 9th Circuit

The fight over whether a Southern Arizona tribe can build a massive casino near Glendale’s entertainment district moved to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. The city is contesting a trial court’s decision to uphold the Department of Interior’s decision to create reservation land out of 54 acres of unincorporated land near 95th and Northern avenues. The Tohono O’odham tribe wants to turn the parcel into reservation land under the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act, a 1986 federal law that allowed the tribe to replace nearly 10,000 acres of land that was destroyed by flooding from the federally-built Painted Rock Dam.

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Gaming Department chief: Past liability issues give reason to be wary of Glendale casino (access required)

Gary Filer was sleeping in the back seat of a minivan traveling through Tucson when it collided with a drunken driver going the wrong way on Interstate 10.

Arizona Department of Gaming Director Mark Brnovich points to the Tucson case as an example of a reason to be wary of the tribe’s plans to build a casino at 91st and Northern avenues in an unincorporated area adjacent to Glendale

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Expert: Fate of Glendale casino hinges on one legal interpretation

The law has been on the side of the Tohono O’odham Nation so far this year, but the core legal issue the tribe is relying on to build a casino on a plot of land in unincorporated Maricopa County near Glendale is still unsettled by the courts. And an expert on Indian law and gaming law believes that the issue will eventually put an end to the planned casino.

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Bill to block casino could increase water rates

If U.S. Congressman Trent Franks’ H.R. 2938 (Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act) passes, Arizonans’ water bills may increase again. But his bill isn’t actually about water at all. The bill was submitted to prevent construction of a casino on a strip of land between Peoria and Glendale. The 25-year-old government treaty with the Tohono O’odham Nation allows the tribe to acquire land to replace the part of its reservation that was flooded due to construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. In the deal, the tribe also surrendered its rights to 32,000 acre-feet of water each year.

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