Construction has begun on a new $450 million casino development spearheaded by Tohono O’odham Nation Gaming Enterprise outside of Glendale, AZ. Work started on Phase 1 of the newest Desert Diamond Casino with an official ground-breaking ceremony on April 12, 2023.
Facilities and Architecture
Plans currently include a gargantuan 184,000-square-foot casino floor, including 900 Class III slots machines and 30 tables offering blackjack, baccarat, craps and roulette. Poker will have a dedicated 12 table section alongside a retail sportsbook, fine and casual dining options and a four-venue food hall.
Phase 1 encompasses the construction of the main casino floor, a parking structure and surface parking with 3,400 spaces. Future phases include a hotel and event space. Designed by JCJ architecture, the process is expected to last around 19 months, placing the opening date for Phase 1 somewhere around the end of 2024.
The venture is managed by Hunt/Penta and will employ around 5,500 people in its construction phase. Once complete, 1300 permanent employees will be required to run the casino and its related ventures. It will be situated on 110* acres of reservation land in unincorporated Maricopa County, near Loop 303 and Northern Parkway but sources vary on the amount of acreage, from 80 to 110 acres.
Desert Diamond Casinos
Desert Diamond has four existing locations in Southern Arizona,(West Valley, Tucson, Sahuarita and Why). Desert Diamond Casinos is an Enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation with a proven track record of operating successful casinos in harmony with stated Tribal values and goals.
CEO Mike Bean noted “With this latest major investment in the West Valley, our new Desert Diamond Casino will bring more jobs, economic opportunity, and entertainment options to this vibrant region. We’re excited to continue the local partnerships we’ve developed over the past 10 years and build new relationships to benefit the West Valley community.”
Chairman Ned Norris Jr further added “This is a special day for all Tohono O’odham. We are making good on our promise to provide for future generations of our tribal citizens. This ground-breaking serves as an important milestone to celebrate our progress as a Nation.”
The popularity of the gaming industry has provided the capital necessary to finance much of the day-to-day government operations as well as a full governmental infrastructure. As well as providing economic support and well-being through their business enterprise, the Nation also helps others in the tribe achieve their goals and business objectives through a series of microloan organizations, which their gaming arm helps fund.