Phoenix-area tribal casino opens without gambling license

The Desert Diamond Casino West Valley opened after a long battle

Instead of slots machines, players that attend the Desert Diamond Casino can find bingo-style games that look alike.

US.- The Tohono O’odham Nation opened on Sunday the doors of its long-planned casino despite lacking the necessary certificates from the Arizona Department of Gaming. Therefore, the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley does not feature any casino games or any high-roller table games involving a dealer, such as blackjack.

The Arizona authorities didn’t approved Class III activities, because its gambling compact with the tribe was not “validly entered” under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Hence, the Phoenix-area property has bingo-style games that look like slot machines, that fall under “Class II” gaming. Table games fall under Class III.

In spite state and federal officials have been opposed to the project since it was announced in 2009, for the tribe, the opening marks “a great day,” according to Tribal Chairman Edward D. Manuel. He also expresed that the Tohono O’odham Nation believes that the casino will prosper, even without Class III games. “We are confident that this facility will be an enormous success for the region, and we are eager to keep moving forward.Obviously, once we succeed in the litigation with the state, we will work to implement Class III,” he added.

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