Bill seeks to derail planned casino near Glendale - WSMV News 4


Bill seeks to derail planned casino near Glendale

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Federal legislation was introduced Tuesday to try to stop the Tohono O'odham Nation from building a casino near Glendale.

The bill spearheaded by Republican Rep. Trent Franks would bar casinos on land in metro Phoenix that's made part of the American Indian reservation system in 2013 and afterward.

The federal government declared the Tohono O'odham Nation property near Glendale a reservation, but pending litigation prevents the land from being made part of the system.

A similar bill by Franks last year cleared the House, but never got a vote in the Senate.

The tribe had received $30 million to replace nearly 10,000 acres of ancestral reservation land damaged by a dam.

The tribe says the property near Glendale that it purchased in 2003 is part of that replacement program.

Members of the Arizona Congressional delegation released the following statements: 

"When Arizona's gaming compact was voted into law, both the voters and tribes of Arizona were promised one thing, while ultimately receiving something else entirely. This bill is not about a vendetta. Nor is it about ending gaming in Arizona. It is, very specifically, about ensuring that the limits on casinos specifically promised back in 2002 during debate on Proposition 202 are realized." - Congressman Trent Franks 

"More than a decade ago, Arizona tribes unified around Proposition 202, and the voters agreed. I'm cosponsoring this legislation because it upholds the will of those voters and the overwhelming majority of tribes who participated in this historic effort." - Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.

"I am happy to join Congressman Franks in protecting our state's gaming compact. The proposed casino would have serious ramifications for the future of the industry and our local tribes. I will continue to work towards a solution that protects the compact's integrity while preserving individual tribal rights." - Congressman Paul Gosar.

"The Arizona state gaming compact is more than just an agreement, it is a contract between the tribes and Arizona voters. This bill ensures that this contract is upheld." - Congressman David Schweikert.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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