Glendale Receives First $1.5M Payment From Tohono O'odham Casino Settlement

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 3:17pm
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
The outside of the Desert Diamond West Valley casino.

While the state continues to battle the Tohono O’odham nation over the legality of a Phoenix-area casino, the city of Glendale will receive their first check from the tribe Tuesday.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the southern Arizona tribe to produce records on what the tribal council discussed in 2002 and 2003 about their casino plans.

It’s the latest in a legal struggle between the Arizona Gaming Department and the Tohono O’odham over the West Valley casino, which Glendale previously fought against.

Now, the city is receiving the first of 20 annual checks for $1.5 million from the tribe, though the first will be lower because the casino has not been open a full year yet.

Glendale city attorney Michael Bailey said the money came as part of a settlement when the city decided to drop its opposition to the casino.

“It went from a hostile relationship where we had been litigating for numerous years where it was more of a recognition as this is an opportunity for a business to be established in or about Glendale that would bring jobs to the area,” Bailey said.

A part of each payment, $100,000, will go to the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau for tourism, and the rest funnels into the general fund.

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