Deal grants Tohono O'odham full gaming rights at Glendale casino – Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — The Tohono O’odham Nation will finally be able to conduct full-scale gaming at its new casino in Glendale.

In an agreement announced Wednesday, the state will give up on its contention that the tribe acted illegally in building a casino in the Phoenix area. That has resulted in the state Department of Gaming refusing to provide the necessary certification for operation of a full-blown casino.

The facility has been open since last year. But while the devices available to customers look like slot machines, they essentially are a form of interlinked bingo, something considered Class II gaming that federal law blocks the state from controlling.

True slot machines and table games like blackjack and poker, all forms of Class III gaming, have until now been prohibited because of the state’s inaction.

In exchange, the tribe agreed it will not attempt to open any more casinos in the Phoenix area, at least in the immediate future.

The wording of the deal goes through the end of the gaming compacts between the state and the tribe in 2026, plus at least 15 years or however long the next gaming compact lasts, which could be another 20 years beyond 2026.

That provision is important to the state because there is some legal question about whether a 1986 federal law allowing the tribe to expand its reservation would actually allow for more gaming sites.

The deal also requires the director of the state Department of Liquor Licenses and Control to withdraw his objection to the tribe’s application for a liquor license for the facility. Tribal officials have said the state agency has been dragging its feet as Gov. Doug Ducey and predecessor Jan Brewer have fought since

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