What you need to know about the West Valley casino settlement – AZCentral.com

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Sneak peek at Desert Diamond Casino West Valley. Here’s a look inside the new gambling facility near Glendale.

This is the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, slated to open December 20, 2015.(Photo: Tom Tingle/The Republic)

What is the Desert Diamond West Valley casino?

It’s a temporary, 40,000-square-foot casino that opened in late 2015 by the Tohono O’odham Nation near Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District. The tribe is expected to build a full-scale casino and resort in the coming years.

What’s the significance of the announcement of a settlement?

The announcement from the state and Tohono O’odham Nation means nearly a decade of legal battles and uncertainty over the West Valley casino is ending.

This means the tribe will move forward with plans for a resort and much larger casino in the near future.

The settlement allows the casino to obtain a higher-level gaming license — which means it can install Las Vegas-style slots and table games — and a liquor license.

The casino has operated sans alcohol, table games and real slot machines since 2015. Instead, it offered bingo-based slots, though they have the look and feel of traditional slot machines.

New games won’t be available immediately. The U.S. Department of Interior must sign off on the agreement, and the tribe has to bring in new machines and re-certify its facility and employees for higher-level gaming. But the tribe said its working as quickly as it can.

Show Thumbnails Show Captions Why is the casino controversial?

The Tohono O’odham Nation, whose reservation is near Tucson, secretly purchased the West Valley land in 2003, intending to build a casino. A year earlier, Arizona voters approved a gaming compact that limited the

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