Employees at the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino in Glendale, Arizona, help the Tohono O'odham Nation celebrate the 4th of July. Photo:West Valley Opportunity

Tohono O'odham Nation acquires land next to casino but won't use it for gaming

The Tohono O'odham Nation is expanding the footprint around its once controversial casino in Arizona.

The tribe just acquired an 11-acre parcel adjacent to the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino for $3.1 million, The Glendale Star reported. The tribe bought the land from the city of Glendale, which had once been a strong opponent of the facility but relented and eventually signed an intergovernmental agreement.

“This proposal is the result of positive and productive discussions with the city of Glendale," Chairman Edward Manuel said in a June 26 press release. "The nation is very proud of the partnerships we have built in the West Valley, and we are pleased to work towards an agreement that benefits the nation, Glendale and the entire region.”

Artist's rendering of the permanent Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona. Image: Tohono O'odham Nation

But even though the land sits adjacent to the casino, there are no plans to use it for gaming, Manuel said. The tribe will not seek to have it placed in trust either, he added.

The purchase, though, creates helps the tribe establish a contiguous land presence at the West Valley site. That will help future economic development efforts, a gaming executive said.

“This purchase would produce a cohesive property and assist in planning future development of the property that complements the existing amenities at Westgate and elsewhere in the sports and entertainment district," said Rudy Prieto, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise.


The tribe, meanwhile, continues work on a $400 million permanent casino on the property. The 75,000 square-foot facility is due to open in December 2019.

Desert Diamond West Valley originally opened in a temporary structure and only offered Class II games. A settlement with the state led to Class III games like slot machines, blackjack and related offerings.

Read More on the Story:
City sells 11 acres to Tohono O’odham for $3.1M (The Glendale Star July 5, 2018)

Related Stories:
Tohono O'odham Nation celebrates start of work on $400 million permanent casino (December 8, 2017)
Tohono O'odham Nation starts work on expansion of once controversial casino (November 27, 2017)
Tohono O'odham Nation wins approval of updated Class III gaming compact (July 21, 2017)
Tohono O'odham Nation announces $400M expansion of newest casino (June 30, 2017)
Open Secrets: Indian gaming battles make for well-fed lobbyists (June 1, 2017)
Tohono O'odham Nation secures victory in long-running gaming dispute (May 17, 2017)
Tohono O'odham Nation heads to trial in casino feud with state (December 20, 2016)

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