Tohono O’odham Nation Requests Gaming Determination from Interior

The Tohono O’odham Nation formally requested the Department of the Interior to issue a determination reaffirming its purchased property in Glendale, Arizona qualifies for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), according to the Nation’s press release.

Confirming rights to build a casino on the 134 acres of land near the West Valley’s sports complexes at West Gate is not necessary now. “We have chosen to move forward with obtaining a gaming determination now to emphasize our dedication to this project, the surrounding communities, and others,” said Ned Norris Jr., the Nation’s chairman. “DOI has reviewed its gaming policies. It has approved our application, and a federal court confirmed that decision; this is the appropriate time to re-submit the gaming determination request.”

On March 3, 2011, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the Department of the Interior (DOI) in its decision to take land into trust for the Tohono O’odham Nation, stated the Nation’s press release in March.

The Nation asked for a gaming determination with the fee-to-trust application for its West Valley property more than two years ago. In July 2009, the request was withdrawn after DOI announced that it was engaged in a wide-ranging review of its gaming policies, which had the potential to drastically slow down the process for taking the Nation’s land into trust.

Now, DOI is moving forward with gaming determinations, including the Nation’s.

The Nation’s plans for a  ‘Las Vegas-Style’ resort hotel, casino and convention center would make the $600 million gaming destination the state’s largest casino and the Nation’s fourth casino, stated the Glendale Tea Party Patriots, who oppose the proposed West Valley casino, located only a few miles from University of Phoenix Stadium, Arena and the new spring-training facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers & Chicago White Sox.

“The Nation has been very open with our plans to construct the West Valley Resort on our property—a complex that in addition to a hotel, convention center and retail space will include a gaming component,” Norris said.

The Nation stated that the West Valley Resort will draw 1.2 million people to the West Valley each year and have a $300 million annual economic impact, creating more than 9,000 jobs during the construction of the facility and the day-to-day operations.

For futher information on the Nation, proposed resort and the history of the project, visit


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Tohono O’odham Nation Requests Gaming Determination from Interior