Federal appeals court ruling again backs tribe building Glendale casino

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PHOENIX — A federal appeals court panel says an Arizona law designed to block a southern Arizona tribe's plans to build a casino in Glendale is unconstitutional.

Friday's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling also says the Tohono (toh-HO'-noh) O'odham Nation is now free to ask for more land it owns in Glendale to be taken into federal trust as a reservation.

The ruling upholds a district court judge's decision blocking the 2011 state law allowing Glendale to annex a parcel of land where the casino was planned. The law would have prevented the Interior Department from taking the land into trust and blocked the casino plans.

Other court action since that time has also favored the tribe, which plans to open the casino with just bingo-style slot machines next month.

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