Gov. Ducey announces new deal with tribal casinos

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Tribal leaders gather on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 to sign a new gaming agreement. (Source: Gov. Ducey) Tribal leaders gather on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 to sign a new gaming agreement. (Source: Gov. Ducey)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Gov. Doug Ducey announced a deal on Monday that allows an Arizona tribe to move forward on a controversial Glendale casino while stopping any more from opening in the Phoenix-metro area.

So far, 10 tribes plan to sign the agreement, that also expands the number of poker tables and Keno games, in exchange for commitments to not open any more casinos in the Valley, with one exception.

That exception is the Desert Diamond casino in Glendale.

But what this agreement means for that casino is still up in the air.

The Tohono O'odham Nation, which operates the Desert Diamond, has not signed the proposal but is expected to make a decision shortly, according to the governor's office.

The west Valley resort has been the source of controversy since the tribe bought 135 acres across the street from Phoenix University Stadium in 2009 and announced plans to build a casino.

It opened last year with limited gaming since the state hasn't authorized full-scale casino operations.

Kirk Adams, the governor's chief of staff, said this proposal will give the Tohono O'odham what they've been asking for.

Currently, there are numerous lawsuits surrounding the Glendale casino as well as proposed federal legislation.

The new deal amends the voter-approved state 2002 gaming compact with the tribes.

The governor's office, as well as tribal leaders on Monday, described this as a way to "modernize" those agreements. 

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Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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