Casino Currently Unaffected By Ruling


The machines will continue to clink and clang at the Mazatzal Casino, despite a ruling Tuesday by a U.S. District Court that Indian gaming is illegal.

District Court Judge Robert Broomfield said Gov. Jane Hull does not have the authority to negotiate compacts with Arizona's tribes, and that gaming as it exists today is unconstitutional. Broomfield prohibited the governor from renewing, expanding or extending any of the existing compacts with Arizona's 17 tribes involved in gaming.

While the governor's office tries to sort through the legal red tape, Mazatzal Casino CEO Jim Gannarelli said the Tonto Apaches will continue to provide gaming entertainment. Gannarelli said he's confident the state's 19 casinos will survive the ruling.

"Over two-thirds of the Arizona people have consistently supported existing Indian gaming operations in public hearings, public polls and in the ballot box," he said. "Because of this overwhelming support, the Mazatzal Casino and the Tonto Apache Tribe will continue to be one of the leading contributors to the local economy."

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