Decision favors tribe in Glendale casino dispute

Phoenix, Arizona (AP) March 2011

A federal judge has upheld a decision to designate land as a reservation, possibly opening the door to a tribal casino near Glendale’s sports and entertainment district.

The Gila River Indian Community, Glendale and state legislative leaders had sought to overturn the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision last year to take 54 acres into trust for a southern Arizona tribe.

The Tohono O’odham Nation aims to build a casino, resort, shops and restaurants on 54 acres near 95th and Northern avenues.

It was unclear how quickly the tribe would begin construction. Glendale officials and other opponents plan to appeal the judge’s decision.

The Arizona Republic says it’s not immediately known if the U.S. Interior Department would take the land into the reservation system before all appeals were exhausted.