Construction has officially started on a new $450 million casino development led by the Tohono O’odham Nation Gaming Enterprise just outside of Glendale, AZ. The groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 1 of the Desert Diamond Casino project took place on April 12, 2023.
The plans for the development include a massive 184,000-square-foot casino floor that will house 900 Class III slot machines, as well as 30 tables offering a variety of popular casino games such as blackjack, baccarat, craps and roulette. Additionally, the casino will feature a dedicated poker area with 12 tables, a retail sportsbook, and a range of fine and casual dining options, as well as a four-venue food hall.
The first phase of construction will focus on the main casino floor, a parking structure, and surface parking with a capacity for 3,400 vehicles. Future phases will include the addition of a hotel and event space. The construction process, managed by Hunt/Penta, is expected to last approximately 19 months, with Phase 1 slated to open towards the end of 2024.
The development will be located on 110 acres of reservation land in unincorporated Maricopa County, near Loop 303 and Northern Parkway. Once complete, the casino is expected to employ around 5,500 construction workers and 1300 permanent employees.
Desert Diamond Casinos currently operates four locations in Southern Arizona, including West Valley, Tucson, Sahuarita, and Why. The CEO of Desert Diamond Casinos, Mike Bean, expressed excitement about the project, highlighting the opportunities it will bring to the local community.
Chairman Ned Norris Jr also emphasized the significance of the project for the Tohono O’odham Nation, stating that it signifies progress for the tribe and fulfillment of their promise to provide for future generations.
In addition to providing economic support and well-being through their business enterprise, the Nation also supports the goals and business objectives of tribal members through a series of microloan organizations, which are funded in part by their gaming arm.