Desert Diamond Casino Glendale Hits Milestone, Set for Late 2024 Opening

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The Tohono O’odham Nation is on track to complete the construction of its new Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale, Arizona.

This upcoming $450 million addition to the list of Arizona casino venues is under construction off Loop 303 near Northern Parkway. It is set to be the tribe’s fifth casino when it opens its doors by the end of 2024.

The Nation recently celebrated the “topping off” of the project, which is the placing of the final construction beam of the main building.

The Desert Diamond brand has also seen significant success among Arizona online sportsbooks in recent months. Despite smaller, state-focused sportsbooks struggling against the major online operators nationally, Desert Diamond has done quite well in comparison, hitting $9.9 million in handle in June.

“Today is a major milestone for the Tohono O’odham Nation,” said Verlon Jose, chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, speaking on the construction milestone.

 “We have come a long way in building a more prosperous future for our people and the West Valley. But just like this new casino, we still have much further to go. The Nation will continue to work closely with our friends and partners in the region for the benefit of all our communities.”

Beautiful, First Class Facility

The first phase of the Desert Diamond Glendale casino will feature a 184,000-square-foot gaming floor. It will house 900 Class III slot machines, a poker room, a retail sportsbook, and a variety of table games, including baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette.

Once fully operational, the casino is projected to provide employment to 1,000 individuals, with more than 5,000 people employed in construction so far.

JCJ Architecture is leading the design of the new casino, with the Hunt/Penta Joint Venture overseeing the construction as the general contractor.

“We are very proud of what has been accomplished so far by our construction team,” said the CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, Mike Bean. “It will be a beautiful, first-class facility that complements the fastest-growing region of the Phoenix Valley.”

Community Resources

Jose also emphasized the significance of the revenue generated from the casino for local communities and the Nation.

“It’s bringing resources to communities that no one ever imagined were out there,” he said.

“The beauty of it is we get to control where and how these things go, and the beauty is it is not our own people being taxed. The revenue comes from everyone who walks into and enjoys our facility.”

He additionally pointed out that a good chunk of the casino revenues would be used to improve local infrastructure, benefiting not just the Nation’s reservations, but all local Arizona residents.

The new casino in Glendale will be the second Desert Diamond Casino in the West Valley of Arizona.

The tribe’s inaugural casino in this region opened in 2015, located off Loop 101 just north of the Westgate Entertainment District. The Tohono O’odham Tribe’s other casinos are situated in Southern Arizona, predominantly near Tucson.

The tribe’s ability to expand its gaming enterprise into the metro Phoenix area stems from a U.S. government decision that allowed the tribe to extend its reservation by 10,000 acres. This decision was made after flooding at the Painted Rock Dam in the 1980s severely damaged farming land and several communities.

The Nation’s new casino project will be competing with the 2023-launched Gila River Resorts & Casinos Santan Mountain facility near Phoenix. The Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa)-owned mountainside venue is home to a 7,000-square-foot BetMGM sports betting lounge, which is the largest of all Arizona retail sportsbooks.  

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