Less than two weeks ago, it was announced that the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise had reached a settlement with the state of Arizona involving the Desert Diamond Casino and could move forward with plans for the gaming venue. The tribe officially announced yesterday that construction has begun, which is a significant milestone as it marks the end of a ten-year casino development fight.

The existing Desert Diamond Casino site will be expanded, and according to officials the expansion will begin by the year’s end and should take less than two years to complete. A time line of 20 months has been given to see the $400m project finished. The existing casino will continue to remain open during the first phase of construction.

The new casino resort will be built north of the current gaming venue with the current building used as a warehouse facility in the future, once the first phase is complete. With the expansion, the casino will occupy more than one million square feet of space. The property will include five restaurants, and feature 75,000 square feet of casino game floor. Visitors will be able to enjoy just over 1,000 slot machines of the Class III variety as well as blackjack, bingo and live poker.