The Tohono O’odham Nation and the state of Arizona have announced that a lawsuit settlement will soon allow the tribe to offer full-fledged RNG slot machines and blackjack gambling at their Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale after years of legal wrangling.
Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release Wednesday “This agreement is a major victory for Arizona, one that ensures that there are meaningful restrictions on additional casinos in the greater Phoenix metro area.”
Under IGRA rules the tribe will not be able to offer games of chance that are not otherwise available in the state. Craps, roulette, and baccarat are found nowhere else in the state so the tribe will not offer those games. They will, however, finally get a liquor license that had been tangled up in red tape and bureaucratic stalling.
The agreement states that the tribe will not open any other gambling establishments in the Phoenix Metro area.
Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward D. Manuel said: “The nation is eager to continue with its West Valley investment to create thousands of new jobs, positive economic development, and a world-class casino resort that all of Arizona can be proud of.”
The agreement will continue for the term of the Nation’s current Tribal/State compact and over into any renewal, but for no less than 15 years. The casino opened on December 20, 2015.
The Tribe and two successive governors have been at odds over the casino for years. Competing area tribes have also lobbied heavily against the property. The battle has even surfaced on Capitol Hill more than once. However, public opinion polling has consistently shown support for the casino. So have a considerable number of court rulings.
The first indication of a possible agreement was seen in November when Gov. Ducey announced a plan to extend further opportunities to ten tribes in the state and allow Class III gaming at the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale. At the time, the tribe complained that they had not been involved in discussions leading up to a proposed settlement.