Casinos for All

Recently, Sens. McCain and Flake opposed the Tohono-Oodham Native American tribe building a casino on the West Side of Phoenix.

Now, the good Senators, who are otherwise the souls of probity, may have appeared to have their blue noses on, aided and abetted by some religious groups around here that probably have more money than brains, but the reality of the situation is rather subtle. The Senators may also have gotten donations from the other three casinos that ring the Valley of the Sun, but they’re not saying.

We’ve dealt with the T-O’s on behalf of clients, and they’re invariably polite and straightforward. But, they’re not fools.

What they might have done, which is what got the Senators’ panties in a knot, is purchase the West Side land and then designate it part of the T-O nation, which is clever by half. And, as a sovereign nation, we can’t say boo about it. McCain in particular should know this, since he’s been involved with Indian Affairs for years.

The Glendale city blue noses might have also overlooked how many jobs the T-O casino is going to create, both in construction and ongoing.

The broader point is that, as one of our clients remarked on the way to putting another restaurant in, is that ‘people are gonna drink, eat and gamble and I want to accommodate all those things.” He might own a casino in the sky these days; his heirs own three truckstops around Arizona, at least one of which might be on an Indian reservations.

Another of my longtime clients is related to Don Diamond, who is a large Tucson developer, and who owns shares in several casinos, and who doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal is coming from.

So, if the Native Americans want to build more casinos around here, have at it. We’re up for doing their market research.

As we used to say in Nevada, the land around here ain’t good for much else.


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