(KFYI News) – The US Bureau of Indian Affairs has ruled that the Tohono O'odham tribe of southern Arizona can "take into trust" a parcel of land adjacent to the city of Glendale as part of its reservation.
The tribe secretly bought the parcel several years ago in hopes of building a casino on the land. However, even with the BIA's decision that the tribe – whose reservation otherwise extends along the Arizona-Mexico border – the Tohono O'odhams can develop the land for non-casino purposes, such as building a resort or a shopping area. However, the tribe can't build a casino or conduct gaming without approval from the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management.
A majority of tribes in Arizona, including non-gaming tribes, remain opposed to a Tohono O'odham casino, claiming it poses a direct threat to existing tribal gaming in the state.
The city of Glendale also opposes a casino on its border, insisting that the city will be on the hook for the cost of related infrastructure, such as wider roads and the sewer and water service the casino would require, with no guarantee that it would be reimbursed by the tribe.