New Mexico’s Newest Casino Dispute Settled

A dispute between the state of Arizona and a Native American tribe that calls the state home has finally been settled after months of debate. According to the Associated Press, the state of Arizona and the O’odham Nation have finally come to an agreement regarding a casino location just outside the major metropolitan area of Glendale.

For those who are unaware, Arizona takes an interesting stance on the allowance of gambling operations. While they do allow for casino gambling, they tend to limit it to Native American reservations. Luckily, there are quite a few of those across the state of Arizona.

A Dispute More Than 2 Years in the Making

The legal battle that was recently settled had to do with Diamond Casino, a property that first opened its doors back in 2015. Though the tribe was legally allowed to open a casino, the state did not grant them a full casino license. What this essentially means is that only limited number of games were able to be played, namely bingo slots.

The O’odham tribe, wanting to attract as many visitors and make as much money as possible, have been fighting ever since to be awarded a gaming license. If a license were awarded, this means that Diamond casino could operate a full array of casino games, from slots, to table games, and everything in between. As of this week, the state and the tribe came to an agreement that would not only license the casino to offer that full range of games, it would also lessen the restrictions relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol.

For the casino and tribe, this is massive news because it opens them up to literally millions and millions of dollars of potential revenue going forward. This deal is also in favor of the state, which sees taxes levied on casinos bring in revenue. With all of this being said, the deal that was reached was not entirely great for the O’odham tribe. The reason for this is due to the fact that the agreement bars the tribe from opening any sort of additional gaming properties in the Glendale area. The tribe did not seem to have much issue with this, primarily because they know just how much money they stand to make as a result of the decision.

As the days, weeks, and months play out, we will be keeping a close eye on Southern Arizona just to see how Diamond Casino fares in the wake of this agreement. Though table games and new slot machines may not make their way onto the casino floor overnight, one can imagine that the O’odham Nation will expedite the process of turning a partial casino into a full-fledged gambling establishment. Whether they encounter any more legal issues along the way or not is something that remains to be seen. As we said, we will continue to keep an eye on this situation and others in the American Southwest, where the gambling landscape seems to be in a constant state of flux.