Agreement prevents further gaming expansion in Metro Phoenix

June 2, 2017


Communications & Public Affairs Office

Gila River Indian Community


SACATON, AZ. - The Gila River Indian Community and Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis issued the following statement regarding the settlement agreement signed today by the State of Arizona and the Tohono O’odham Nation.


“For years, our Community and my administration have held as a top priority resolving the West Valley casino dispute in a manner that preserves the balance of tribal gaming in metro Phoenix and the state of Arizona,” said Gov. Stephen R. Lewis. “While we are still reviewing the fine print details of this agreement, the geographical restrictions against new casinos placed upon the Tohono O’odham Nation represent a victory for every Arizona Tribe concerned about protecting what gaming means to our people and our economies.”


Gov. Lewis added his thanks to Gov. Doug Ducey. “Our Community and Tribes everywhere, as well as the residents of the Valley, should certainly feel gratitude toward the Governor for refusing to buckle under pressure from special interests who had sought to further expand gaming in metro Phoenix. With this agreement, the East Valley and other regions will be spared the distractions and issues felt for years now in the West Valley.”


In October 2016, the Community and seven Arizona Tribes reached agreement with Gov. Ducey on an amendment to the 2002 tribal gaming compacts and an accompanying agreement designed to open up new Indian gaming compact talks. Since then, there have been ongoing talks between the State and the Tribes.


Said Gov. Lewis: “The Glendale casino represents a violation of the tribal gaming framework presented to and approved by Arizona voters in 2002, and it is a cautionary tale. This settlement recognizes the vital importance of keeping the promises we make to voters and preserving the delicate balance necessary for tribal gaming to benefit Arizona, its residents and Arizona’s Indian communities.”