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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Glendale City Council has told its staff to begin formal negotiations with the Tohono O'Odham Nation on a proposed casino near the city's sports and entertainment district.

Tribal chairman Ned Norris Jr. said talks could open the door for a positive resolution of the disagreements between the two communities over the project that's projected to have a $300 million annual economic impact.

The city council also announced its opposition Tuesday to a federal bill drafted to stop the casino.

The Tohono O'Odham has been seeking negotiations with Glendale since the project was announced in January 2009.

Opponents have argued a 2002 voter-backed compact barred more casinos from opening in metro Phoenix.

The Tohono O'odham is a federally-recognized tribe with existing reservation lands in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties.

Associated Press,

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