It took a great deal of effort for the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort to open in December of 2015, after the Tohono O’odham Nation faced opposition, both of the political and legal sense. Despite opening, the tribe still faces opposition and has had to spend money on Capitol Hill to lobby for the right to offer gambling services.
Rivals of the tribe include the Gila River Indian Community, a group that has continued to press for legislation to stop the casino from operating. According to a filing on the 20th of this month, the tribe spend a total of $690,000 to pay the Akin Gump firm in their lobbying efforts during the first quarter of the year.
While the Gila River Indian Community sat at the top of the list, spending the most on lobbying efforts, the Tohono O’odham Nation sat in the 6th position, according to Politico. The tribe spent a total of $430,000 with the Dentons firm on lobbying efforts.
Both the tribes, along with others, are fighting over the Keep the Promise Act, listed as H.R. 308 and S. 152. The House was unable to advance the measure in 2015 but both the Senate and House measure are still listed as an action item. While the legislation does not mention a tribe by name, it does ban newly acquired trust lands located in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, a category that the Tohono O’odham Nation falls into.