A new casino is set to open its doors Sunday in the west Valley.
The controversial Desert Diamond Casino West Valley is located at 91st Avenue and Northern, and is finally opening after years of legal battles.
“It’s a great day for the west Valley,” says the mayor of Tolleson, Adolfo Gamez. “It means everybody is going to get a piece of the pie in the west Valley and that's something we've been waiting for for a long time.”
The Tohono O'odham tribal nation has been in a legal fight with the Arizona Department of Gaming over the casino.
The department doesn't want the casino to have Class III gaming, which includes slot machines and blackjack. To prevent opening delays, the tribe moved forward with Class ll gaming-- meaning bingo and games that have gamblers play against each other instead of the house.
But officials say regardless of all the controversy, this casino will make a positive economic impact on the west Valley, helping make this area a travel destination.
More than 200 million dollars has been invested in the project this year.
“This is very exciting because not only are we helping sustain a nation, we're helping sustain our economy here locally,” says Glendale city councilman Samuel Chavira.
The tribe said the casino has created nearly 500 permanent jobs, with thousands more expected.
“I’m happy for the nation because I believe that any one of the tribes in Arizona that advances with the economic development only helps the rest of us,” says Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache tribe.
The 40,000-square-foot casino floor is sure to draw crowds.
"The floor will include two-venue food outlet, a bar," said Treena Parvello, director of public relations for Tohono O'odham Gaming Enterprise. "It will include a rewards center with a cage, along with the 1,089 machines."
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