One of Arizona’s largest casinos will open tonight. The new $400-million, 2.3 million-square-foot Desert Diamond West Valley Casino features a 75,000-square-foot gaming floor with 36 poker tables, 48 blackjack tables, live bingo, 1,100 slot machines, five restaurants, a VIP lounge and more.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Treena Parvello, director of Government Relations and Communications for the Nation. “We’re excited to finally unveil the next phase for this unique amenity in the West Valley, which is creating jobs and opportunities. This would not have been possible without the leadership of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the guidance of the Enterprise Management Board,” she added.
The Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise owns and operates four Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment locations in Southern Arizona — in West Valley, Tucson, Sahuarita, and Why. The new West Valley casino near Glendale’s sports and entertainment district replaces the temporary, neighboring casino that since 2015 has offered slot machines but no table games.
Whereas approximately 800 people staffed the interim casino, the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise filled 2,000 jobs for the West Valley destination — ranging from food and beverage services to environmental services to gaming operations to security.
“We now have the largest casino in the state, it’s going to bring in thousands and thousands of people,” said Glendale Councilman Ian Hugh.
Glendale is not allowed to tax Tohono O’odham Nation enterprises, but they provide the city with $1 million dollars annually. “It is a nation within our borders,” said Hugh. “It’s been wonderful,” Hugh told the Glendale Star. “We are the only city in Arizona I know of that has a special agreement with a gaming nation.”
Beyond the monetary infusion, the casino draws tourism to the area. “I can’t keep track of all the hotels lining up to come here,” Hugh said.