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Tohono O'odham Nation and state remain at odds in casino dispute



Huge crowds turned out for the opening of the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona, on December 20, 2015. Photo from Facebook

The Tohono O'odham Nation and the state of Arizona don't seem any closer to resolving a long-running gaming dispute.

After hearing about a new Class III gaming compact, a federal judge asked the tribe and the state about the possibility of settling the matter. But the two parties remain at odds, according to a filing they jointly submitted on Wednesday.

"The Nation does not believe that settlement of this matter is imminent," the tribe said in its part of the filing.

At issue is whether the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort can offer Class III games. The state is refusing to certify the facility under the Class III gaming compact, claiming the tribe pursued it through fraudulent means.

The state has since signed a compact with eight other tribes that would allow West Valley to offer Class III games. The tribe, however, has concerns about the agreement.

"Although the Nation is still reviewing the state’s proposal and determining how to respond, the proposal’s current terms are unlikely to be acceptable to the Nation for a number of reasons," the filing on Wednesday read.

With a settlement unlikely at this point, Judge David Campbell is going ahead with a previously scheduled hearing in the case on December 14. Arguments could determine whether the tribe prevails in its effort to offer Class III games at West Valley.

Read More on the Story:
Tribes sign gaming compact amendment (The Glendale Star 12/1)
Council approves donations from Tohono O’Odham for Kellis High School (The Glendale Star 12/1)

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