PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is offering to allow a southern Arizona tribe to operate full-fledged Indian gambling at its casino in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.
It would be part of deal with 10 other tribes that gives them expanding gambling opportunities.
The governor’s office announced the agreement with the tribes Monday, but said the Tohono O’odham Nation still has not agreed.
“It’s time for us to modernize this compact to meet the changing needs of the state and to increase the opportunities for tribal gaming,” Ducey said in a statement.
The agreements amend tribal gambling deals to formally block new casinos in metro Phoenix and will allow more Keno games and poker tables at existing casinos.
Ducey was joined by leaders of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the Tonto Apache Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, the Havasupai Tribe, the Gila River Indian Community and Navajo Nation.
“It signifies the state’s respect to engage in meaningful government-to-government negotiations with Fort McDowell and other Arizona tribes to plan for and to ensure the future of tribal gaming in our state,” Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation President Bernadine Burnette said in a statement.
The Tohono O’odham Nation and the state have been at loggerheads for several years over the tribe’s Glendale casino.
“They are welcome at the table, they’ve been invited and we think that that will be what happens,” Ducey said. “We’ve reached out to them throughout the process.”
It opened last year without a full state permit allowing card games and normal slot machines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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