After a long battle in December, the Tohono O’odham Nation, a southern Arizona tribe, opened the doors of the Desert Diamond Casino – West Valley, located at the edge of Glendale on the western side of Phoenix. However, a lawmaker that was trying to stop the construction of the Arizona tribe’s casino, Sen. John McCain, is still bothered by the situation.
McCain sponsored S.152, the Keep the Promise Act, that would have blocked the construction of the casino even though federal courts have ruled in the tribe’s favor repeatedly to use its land for gaming. The bill was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in April, but it never made it to the Senate because it was believed to have a controversial nature. Bothered by it, McCain blamed the vice chairman of the panel, Sen. Jon Tester for blocking it. “I’m still unhappy about the situation and the fact that Sen. Jon Tester blocked the legislation,” he said publically at a meeting.
Despite his opposition, the Tohono O’odham Nation debuted the casino and a large crowd gathered for the opening. McCain might still try to close the tribe’s casino, but it may be difficult to succeed as it would put over 500 people out of work. In addition, closing the casino could cost the federal government a billion dollar in damages, according the Government Accounting Office.