Two of Valley’s largest gaming tribes resign from Arizona Indian Gaming Association


PHOENIX – One of the Valley’s largest gaming tribes has resigned from the state’s gaming affiliation.

On Friday, the Gila River Indian network and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community hand-added a letter to the Tribes of Arizona Indian Gaming Association.

Their resignation reportedly comes after the Tohono O’odham country’s actions of “secretly developing a casino in direct opposition to the guarantees made via AIGA.” the two tribes say it has “destroyed AIGA’s harmony and undermined the ideas. Of the employer.”

The Tohono O’odham state’s wasteland Diamond, West Valley casino, opened in Glendale in December, regardless of criminal battles.

The letter reads, in full:

Dear Tribal Leaders:

The Gila River Indian network has actively supported AIGA for many years. we’ve worked with different member tribes to perform AIGA’s purpose of “speakme on behalf of its member Tribes with one unified voice…on Indian gaming issues.” AIGA, for many years, fulfilled this cause and operated with notable solidarity. However, the moves of the Tohono O’odham kingdom to secretly develop an online casino in direct competition with the promises made through AIGA and other tribes has destroyed AIGA’s harmony and undermined the principles of the organization. We, regretfully, have decided that we can no longer, in the desirable judgment of right and wrong, be contributors to AIGA and are chickening out from the company effectively without delay.

When compact negotiations started in 2000, sixteen tribes united collectively and signed an agreement that installed tribal principles for the talks. The kingdom’s present-day Chairman signed that agreement. In that written settlement, every Tribe expressly agreed to “hold regular positions concerning the terms and troubles at issue with the kingdom of Arizona in compact negotiations” and, importantly, to “notify other Tribal Leaders if they…must take positions or moves inconsistent with the ones of the alternative Tribal Leaders.”

While the four Phoenix-metro tribes and other tribes were thinking about Governor Hull’s demand inside the negotiations that every Tribe give up its property to construct an extra online casino, the state now admits that backstage, it changed into secretly attempting to find land to operate an additional online casino in the Phoenix location. Rather than notifying different Tribal leaders of its plans at some stage in the negotiations, the state actively labored to conceal its movements. The nation admits that it sold the Glendale land using a Delaware shall agency “to hide its possession.”

Two of Valley's largest gaming tribes resign from Arizona Indian Gaming Association 1At some point in the compact negotiations, the state’s representatives expected that Gila River, Salt River, and Fortress McDowell could object to the state’s silence as soon as its plans for a Phoenix casino were revealed. But even that did not compel the nation to notify other Tribes. The kingdom stayed silent.

The country’s failure to disclose its secret plans for a Phoenix-region casino for the duration of compact negotiations earlier than other Tribes signed the brand new compacts. It gave up its existing rights to construct an extra online casino. It violated the nation’s contractual and ethical duties to inform the alternative fifteen tribes that the country was taking “actions inconsistent with those of other Tribal Leaders.”

Governor Ducey and lawyer trendy Brnovich have called the country’s Glendale casino “opposite to the general public hobby” and “the product of fraud, fraudulent concealment, and misrepresentation.” The Arizona Republic referred to the nation as a tribe, “the usage of subterfuge and deceit to interrupt into Phoenix’s gambling market.”

Even though the country has been capable of breaking out the nation’s fraud and misrepresentation claims, the federal court docket these days that those claims will finally be litigated.

All Tribes in AIGA have to acknowledge that since the kingdom asked the interior branch to collect the Glendale parcel for casino purposes in 2009, AIGA has not spoken with one unified voice. AIGA has been crippled with the aid of disunity.

Let us assess AIGA’s role in this difficulty.

While then-Governor Hull introduced a compact that had been efficiently negotiated with the 16 Tribes, her February 20, 2002 press announcement stated that one of the “important points” executed within the settlement was that there could be “[n]o additional casinos allowed inside the Phoenix metropolitan place and one additional online casino inside the Tucson vicinity.”


On April three, 2002, the AIGA workforce produced a Legislative tracking report that commented on Senate invoice 1001, the bill that encapsulated the compact agreement reached between AIGA tribes and the nation. The AIGA report stated that the invoice “Represents the settlement reached with the aid of the Arizona Indian Gaming affiliation and the Governor. Offers for a discount in the variety [of] legal gaming facilities[, ] without extra facilities inside the Phoenix metro location and most effective one new facility inside the Tucson location.”

Five days later, on April eight, 2002, AIGA’s government Director, David Lazarte, testified earlier than the Arizona Senate Committee.