Press Release — U.S. District Court Again Rules in Favor of Tohono O’odham Nation

SELLS, Ariz. – Today, the U.S. District Court ruled in the Tohono O’odham Nation’s favor again, further clearing the way for positive economic development in the West Valley. Judge David Campbell found that there was no language in the voter-approved state gaming Compact that prevents the Tohono O’odham Nation’s West Valley Resort from moving forward, and that any supposed agreement outside the Compact could not be considered. The Nation has now received 12 straight decisions in its favor.

Judge Campbell first ruled in the Nation’s favor on this issue last month when he decisively said, “Written agreements matter.” After further review, he threw out the opposition’s remaining claims stating that the Compact “does not contain a ban on new casinos in the Phoenix area, and its terms cannot reasonably be read to include such a ban.”

Further finding in the Nation’s favor, Judge Campbell also noted that all the Compacts include an Integration Clause, which states that there can be no side agreements changing the written terms of the Compact. The case was therefore dismissed and judgment was entered for the Nation.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said “We appreciate Judge Campbell’s clear and well-reasoned decision, which reaffirms that the Nation has been following the rules all along. After a dozen straight victories, opponents attempting to protect their market share need to stop their delay tactics so that positive economic development can proceed. The Nation remains committed to working with local communities to bring jobs and new opportunity to the West Valley.”

The Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, with existing reservation lands in Maricopa County, Pinal County, and Pima County, Arizona. The West Valley Resort will be located at 95th and Northern avenues and will generate thousands of new jobs and more than $300 million in annual economic impact. For more information, visit www.westvalleyopportunity.com.

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