West Valley Resort Casino Files Lawsuit Against Gov. Doug Ducey
June 24, 2015
The Tohono O'odham tribe is planning on opening their casino at the end of this
year. A new lawsuit has been filed by the tribe against top state officials,
including Gov. Doug Ducey.
The tribe is asking a federal judge to stop the state of Arizona from preventing
the opening of the casino.
In 2013 the court ruled in favor of the Tohono O'odham casino project. A federal
judge stated that the tribe was allowed to open a casino based on the Arizona
gaming compact and the federal law.
However, opponents state that the casino is illegal based on a gaming compact
from 2002. One of the opposing groups includes the Gila River Indian Community.
An appeal has been filed over the current ruling.
Potential employees could be notified by the state about working at a gaming
facility that is not authorized. Also, vendors for the West Valley Resort have
received notice by the Department of Gaming that they could lose their
certification if they work for the casino.
Legal troubles over the casino have lasted for six years.
The tribe claims that Gov. Ducey is trying to block the casino by defying the
On Monday the lawsuit was filed.
Ducey stated in a letter sent to state Gaming Director Daniel Bergin that
Arizona can cancel its gaming compact with the tribe at any time. That letter
was sent in April.
Ducey believes that the tribe committed fraud due to the lack of disclosure on
the tribes plans to build the casino during negotiations with the state over the
new gaming compact.
The Tohono O'odham denies the fraud. Casinos are allowed to be built on tribal
land. Land between Glendale and Peoria was purchased by the tribe and taken into
trust in 2010. This was approved by the Department of the Interior.
Department of the Interior was then sued by the city of Glendale and the Gila
River Indian Community stating that the land trust was approved without
considering the possibility that the Tohono O'odham would build a casino there.
The Tohono O'odham has also been sued by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian
Community and the Gila River Indian Community stating that the tribe was in
violation of the gaming compact from 2002.
The Tohono O'odham won both cases in federal court.
Return to Arizona Casinos.