New Arizona Indian Casino Approved by US Court


Posted: March 30, 2016

Updated: March 30, 2016

The third Arizona Indian Casino in the Phoenix metropolitan is legal as a US court of federal appeals found that the Arizona tribe is allowed to run a casino according to US gambling laws. Now there are three legal casinos in Phoenix are run by Native American tribes.

The local US District Court’s judge ruled earlier that the Tohono O’odham Nation can have an Arizona Indian Casino according to US gambling laws. When they announced that they intend to build a casino in the Phoenix metropolitan area, they were sued by the state of Arizona and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community together with the Gila River Indian Community. These two tribes already had casinos in the Phoenix area.

The Arizona Indian Casino case has been running for years and is not over yet

The Native American gambling dispute in Arizona is on for years now. Because of that there are only bingo machines at the moment in the Glendale-area casino that was opened by the Tohono O’odham last December. There are no card games or slot machines. Arizona and two tribes claimed that US gambling laws in the state prohibited the Tohono O’odham from building a casino, but the court of appeal dismissed this arguing, just as the district court judge had done earlier.

It is unclear what will happen next in the Arizona Indian casino case, but the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Gila River Indian Community are expected to appeal against the decision according to US gambling news. Delbert W. Ray, Salt River President expressed his concerns about the decision, saying, it “opens the door to additional Tohono O’odham casinos on county islands in other cities throughout the Phoenix area.”

The Tohono O’odham prepares to expand the property, providing additional jobs. In order to do so, they requested the other tribes to abandon their “misguided challenges” in the Arizona Indian Casino case. This Native American gambling match is not over yet, but the Tohono O’odham is winning at the moment.

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