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Updated Aug 13, 2014 - 10:28 am

Divided Glendale council approves deal for casino

Glendale City Council (Screenshot)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A sharply divided Glendale City Council has approved an agreement with a southern Arizona tribe to build a casino adjacent to the suburban city.

The 4-3 vote Tuesday followed months of negotiation and years of litigation and political battles between Glendale and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Key provisions of the agreement included the tribe paying the city $26 million over 20 years and the city withdrawing from litigation against the project.

The casino would be located near the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals.

"The businesses around (Westgate area), including the sports teams, they all wanted this. The Renaissance Hotel, you'd think they would be in direct competition," Councilman Gary Sherwood said. "But they want it because they know that means a lot more people coming into that area and they'll have no problems filling those room."

While supporters said the project will provide jobs, opponents criticized its expansion of casino gambling in the Phoenix area, where other tribes already operate several casinos on the outskirts.

"There are seven casinos in the Valley ... one to the west. Sixty-five percent of the population growth over the next 20 years is going to happen in the west," Sherwood said.

KTAR's Jeremy Foster contributed to this article.

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