The Tohono O’odham Nation has reason to celebrate now that its long-delayed liquor license has been approved. The tribe’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino located near Glendale’s sports and entertainment district will now be able to serve its patrons beer, wine and liquor.
The Arizona tribe opened the venue on December 20, 2015, only serving soda and other non-alcoholic beverages at a large bar and a smaller service area within the casino. At 5pm on August 11, that changed after the liquor license was approved by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control on August 3, according to news portal AZCentral.com.
The license is courtesy of a lawsuit settlement between the Tohono O’odham Nation and the state of Arizona. After years of legal wrangling, the tribe will also eventually be allowed to offer full-fledged RNG slot machines and blackjack gambling, as well. Under IGRA rules the tribe will not be able to offer games of chance that are not otherwise available in Arizona, such as craps, roulette and baccarat. Currently, the casino offers players over 1,000 Class II slot machines in its 50,000 square foot gaming space.
Last month the tribe reportedly announced that by the end of the year it would begin construction on a 1 million-plus square-foot resort, which will include a 600-room spa hotel, an atrium covering 3-acres, event center, several restaurants and bars, retail space and a convention center. Gaming amenities to be added reportedly include a full-scale casino with as much as 150,000 square feet of gaming space with 50 table games, 25 poker tables, and a 1,000 seat bingo hall.
The agreement states that the tribe will not open any other gambling establishments in the Phoenix Metro area and 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.
Andy Asselin, CEO for Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said the casino is all set to use its new liquor license immediately. “This is a day we have been looking forward to and our staff is fully trained and ready to go,” said Asselin in a written statement. “Alcohol service has been a top request of our guests since we opened, and we are excited to now offer this amenity,” according to AZCentral.