West Side Cities Support WEST VALLEY CASINO



Tohono O’odham holding it’s ground on West Valley

Resort & Casino and will keep building

By Bette Sharpe Glendale Daily Planet 4-22-2015

Tohono O’odham will hold it’s ground on West Valley Resort & Casino and will continue to build its $200 million facility despite challenges of fraud and misrepresentation from the governor and the department of gaming. Without certification from the Arizona Department of Gaming, there would not be gaming in the West Valley at the Desert Diamond West Valley Resort and Casino.

The progress the resort and casino has made since the ‘topping off’ ceremony in March at the construction site is noticeable. The project is scheduled to open in December of this year.

However, the Tohono O’odham and the West Valley Resort faces challenges from Governor Doug Ducy, Arizona Department of Gaming and some member of Congress to halt the positive economic project.

Special interest from the East Valley, the Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribes are opposed to the casino near the Westgate Entertainment District. The opposition might be to protect their marketshare and there is the on-going disagreement regarding the keeping or not keeping the promises (implied or otherwise) of Prop 202 (2002) has created strong political and legal challenges for the Tohono O’odham Nation and the future of the West Valley Resort and Casino.

Two giant resorts and casinos in the East Valley are the Gila River Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino) and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa (Talking Stick Resort).

Glendale Vice May Ian Hugh in his remarks at the press event said that Glendale has already factored in revenue from the casino ($1.4 million) in the next fiscal year.

West Valley leaders including Tolleson Mayor Adolfo Gamez, Glendale Vice Mayor Ian Hugh, and Council member Sammy Chavira reiterated the overwhelming support for the project in the West Valley.

Asking for local voter support, speakers at the event encouraged those who are in favor of the resort and casino to contact the governor and let him know how strongly people in the west valley want this to happen in the West Valley.

From press release…

Despite this overwhelming support, and the more than a dozen court rulings in favor of the Nation’s project, Governor Ducey has pressured the Arizona Department of Gaming to disregard the clear terms of the compact with the Nation. The Department’s action is in violation of a federal court ruling and goes against the advice of the State’s own expert on gaming law, Assistant Attorney General Roger Banan. Several members of Congress, meanwhile, are threatening to move federal legislation designed to halt construction of the project in order protect the market share of two wealthy East Valley tribes.

Should these efforts succeed, 1,300 construction jobs will be lost and Arizonans will be denied thousands of permanent jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in positive economic impacts that the project would create.    Passage of the federal legislation would also deprive the State of millions of dollars in revenue, which goes to support education, health care, and conservation across Arizona.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said, "It is absurd to see elected officials working feverishly to take away thousands of jobs from their constituents, even refusing to adhere to the compact and a federal court ruling. The Nation is creating jobs and economic benefits for all of Arizona, while some of our elected officials seem focused only on protecting the market share of a few wealthy interests. Support for this project is overwhelming and we will not be deterred from our commitment to seeing this project through."

The Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, with reservation lands in Maricopa County, Pinal County, and Pima County, Arizona. The West Valley Resort is located on the Nation's reservation land at 95th and Northern avenues. It will generate thousands of new jobs and more than $300 million in annual economic impact. For more information, visit


Ed Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 121337.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ted Norris, Jr. spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the site of the West Valley Resort. In February, Daniel Bergin, Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, sent a letter to Chairman Norris saying the Department of Gaming would not recognize the West Valley casino unless it for proof that the Nation did not commit fraud before the Arizona Department of Gaming would issue certification, allowing gaming at the new casino just outside of Glendale. Chairman Norris will not be deterred by these recent challenges. He and others are asking the public to show their support of the West Valley project by telling the governor.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3421.

The Tohono O’odham tribe’s West Valley Resort and Casino has finished six months of construction and is in the first phase of building. The $200 million project is scheduled to open at the end of the year.

Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet no. 3476.

Glendale Vice Mayor was one of the Glendale elected officials who spoke in support of the Tohono O’odam’s press event on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Arizona Department of Gaming said it would not allow the West Valley casino to open in December unless the Tohono O’odham Nation could show proof that it did not commit fraud when negotiating the 2002 gaming compact.

A federal judge ruled in 2013 that the state’s 2002 gaming compact does not exactly prohibit new casinos in the Phoenix area. This ruling is under appeal at the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.








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