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Arizona Tribes Unite to Retain Casinos

4 December 2001

ARIZONA – Dec. 4, 2001 –As reported by Inside Tucson Business: "Arizona tribes are banding together to help ward off a challenge to their right to have casinos on reservation land.

"A coalition of 17 Arizona tribes has started an extensive media campaign to swing or keep public opinion in favor of reservation gaming.

"In July, a federal judge ruled that slot machines were illegal in Arizona and that the compacts between the state and tribes were unconstitutional because Arizona legislature was not involved in their negotiation.

"…Commercials sponsored by Arizonans for Fair Gaming & Indian Self-Reliance began airing in November. Additionally, commercials for the local Pascua Yaqui tribe, are focused on thanking people in the state for helping the tribe sustain itself and improve conditions on the reservation.

"Locally, the Desert Diamond casinos operated by the Tohono O'odham Nation, and the Casino of the Sun/Casino del Sol casinos operated by the Pascua Yaqui tribe would be affected. In all, 21 casinos are currently in operation statewide, with another set to open in Maricopa County.

"… Most race track owners say they aren't seeking to stop gambling on reservations, just to stop its spread.

"…Informal talks between tribe and the state could lead to the number of facilities allowed decreasing (or staying at current levels), while the number and types of games allowed increases…"

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