Residents opposed to plans to shuffle casino location 7-07

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - A new location for a Gila River Indian Community
casino is in the cards, but some west Chandler residents think they
have been dealt a bad hand.

The tribe announced last week it was canceling plans for a new casino
off Hunt Highway, near Gilbert Road, and instead, will build it near
the Gila Springs subdivision near Kyrene and Ray roads.

"The community here is not very excited about it, and it would be
nice to have some information flow, one way or the other," Chandler
resident Adam Dibble said.

Dibble lives in the Gila Springs subdivision and is among a handful
of residents who have contacted Chandler leaders with questions and
concerns about the new casino site. He estimates about 100 households
in west Chandler are now networking to oppose the reservation's plans
to relocate its Lone Butte Casino from its current home on 56th
Street, south of the Santan Loop 202 Freeway, to the southeast corner
of Kyrene Road and the freeway.

Like their neighbors in south Chandler who opposed plans for a
casino, Dibble said his community fears gambling will attract
increased crime and traffic to their area.

A few have already begun distributing fliers and sending out e-mails
about the casino. "We're not an overpowering group, but we feel like
we're just starting to get the word out," Dibble said.

Dibble said they are concerned that Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn and the
city used its influence to get the reservation to switch sites. Dunn
denies the claim. "No, not at all," Dunn said. "The position was
it needed to move away from the Hunt Highway site."

Dunn added: "The bottom line is I've had no influence as to this
location." Dunn called the residents' concerns "fair," but also
said the casino could be an improvement. "I think this is indicative
that the Gila River Community wants to take the heavy industrial uses
out of that area," Dunn said.