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Big spending in fight over Tohono O'odham Nation casino bid

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Legislation | Litigation
More on: 113th, arizona, gila river, house, off-reservation, republicans, tohono oodham

Artist's rendering of the proposed West Valley Resort. Image from Tohono O'odham Nation

Lawyers, lobbyists and politicians are benefiting from a high-profile battle over the Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino in Arizona.

The city of Glendale has spent at least $3.5 million fighting the proposed West Valley Resort, The Phoenix New Times. Most of that money has gone into litigation in which the tribe has prevailed nearly every single time.

The Gila River Indian Community, another opponent, has spent a whopping $8 million on lobbying since 2009, when the Tohono O'odham Nation announced the project. Obviously, not all of that money has gone to the casino fight but the spending represents a big increase from the years prior, the New Times reported.

In comparison, the Tohono O'odham Nation has spent $3.3 million on lobbying from 2009 to 2013. And the tribe has spent at least $4.2 million on litigation -- that was the amount in a fee request submitted in federal court.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, another casino opponent, spent about $1.4 million in lobbying during the same time, the New Times said. The Gila River and Salt River tribes operate casinos that could be affected by the Tohono O'odham project.

Politicians are also benefiting from the fight. According to the New Times, the Gila River Indian Community donated $50,450 to the Republican Governors Association in 2010 and donated $26,900 to lawmakers who supported H.R.1410, a bill that blocks the casino.

Get the Story:
Proposed West Valley Casino Is Pitting Valley Indian Tribes Against One Another (The Phoenix New Times 2/6)

Related Stories:
Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino in limbo (01/17)

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