The newest Arizona casino now has an opening date. Gila River Resort & Casino Santan Mountain will open on June 30.
The $180 million casino is the first new casino following the updated tribal gaming compact with the state that opened the doors for Arizona sports betting.
Gila is one of 16 state tribes that operate gaming in Arizona in some form. The updated state-tribal compact allows for new Las Vegas-style games, including craps, roulette, and retail and online sports betting.
Arizona’s newest attraction, Casino Santan Mountain
The Santan Mountain casino will feature the largest retail AZ sportsbook in the state, 813 slot machines, table games and a new full-service restaurant. The BetMGM Sportsbook will encompass 7,000 square feet and feature a deli counter called Upper Deck Deli.
Additional amenities include:
- High-limit gaming salon
- Mini-baccarat, craps and roulette
- Multiple dining options
- Indoor/outdoor space
- Event lawn and ballroom
- A main bar, The Hive, will have 20 beers on tap
The casino’s state-of-the-art design is a nod to the culture of the Gila River Indian Community.
Blake Katsnelson, general manager for the casino, said the casino offers more than just gambling but rather an entertainment experience. “Traditional gaming is not the way,” he said in an article by AZCentral. “It’s the extra amenities that we offer.”
Instant impact for the Gila River Tribe
In January, Gila River Tribe Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis spoke enthusiastically about adding a fourth property and its meaning for the tribe. According to an article by KTAR News, Lewis said:
“Not only will Santan Mountain bring additional revenue, sustainability, and critical services to our Community members, it will elevate our prestige in the gaming and hospitality industry as we continue to craft an entertainment dynasty.”
Although the casino does not feature a hotel, one could be built in the future.
The casino is holding a job fair to hire roughly 700 new employees.
The Gila River Casino Santan Mountain may be the first new casino with the updated gaming compact, but others are on the horizon. Near Glendale, Desert Diamond Casinos has begun constructing a new casino near Loop 303 and Northern Avenue.