Glendale City Council supports tribe's casino plan

GLENDALE, AZ - The Glendale City Council has approved a resolution to support the Tohono O'Odham Nation's proposal to build a casino near the city's sports and entertainment district.

The council voted 4-3 Tuesday to back the plan that the tribe projects will have a $300 million annual economic impact.

Glendale City Council Member Ian Hugh says it's a good plan for the surrounding cities. "The people who are opposed to it said 'it's only going to create 2,000 jobs.' I'll take those two thousand jobs…It will also spur other development to happen," Hugh adds.

The Tohono O'Odham has been pushing a proposal to build a sprawling, Las Vegas-style casino since January 2009. It would be located in an adjacent lot near 95th and Northern Avenues and would be called The West Valley Resort.

The Gila River Indian Community opposes the plan, saying it violates zoning and state laws and threatens the balance of tribal gaming in Arizona.

Opponents also argue a 2002 voter-backed compact bars more casinos from opening in metro Phoenix.

Gila River tribal officials say opponents will continue to do everything possible to stop the project.

The Tohono O'odham already operates several casinos in southern Arizona.

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee is planning a hearing July 23 on Indian gaming issues

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