Glendale City Council votes to support indian casino plan - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Glendale City Council votes to support indian casino plan

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GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Glendale City Council gives the green light to plans by a Southern Arizona Indian Tribe to build a Vegas-style casino in the west valley.

It's projected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year to our local economy but members of other tribes are among opponents fighting back in an effort to block construction.

In a special city council meeting the council voted to support the tribe's plan, this is a major change for the city.

The Tohono O'Odohom nation wants to make an empty patch of land part its sovereign nation.

The federal government will have the ultimate say in the casino's future but where the City of Glendale stands will certainly have some influence.

In a 4 to 3 vote the council switched course and threw its support behind the proposed casino resort.

"This is a game changer," said Glendale Council member Sam Chivara

Councilman sam Chavira's district covers the area surrounding the proposed casino's location which includes Westgate and the University of Phoenix Stadium.

It will basically the crown jewel for two very prolific entertainment districts.

When more people looked into it,I think that is what changed. I think that is what turned the light bulb on.

For years glendale formally opposed the nation's plan to turn an empty lot on a county island surrounded by the City of Glendale, near 91st avenue and Northern, into part of its reservation and build a 4 star resort and casino. 

Councilman gary Sherwood appears to be the one member who changed his mind.

When you talk to the people that are over Westgate that are over the Renaissance Hotel, that are over at the Coyotes, that are over at the Cardinals, that are over many of the businesses that are in that area, they are all for this.

But other tribes strongly oppose it and so does the city's Mayor and Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack

"My opposition is the way that they did it. They way they came in secret and did it without our knowledge. They didn't come to us and say hey City of Glendale we'd like to work with you and this is what we are are going to do," said Knaack.

This vote comes just before the Senate in Washington is expected to discuss indian gaming and this issue will a topic of discussion.

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