Ever since a 2002 statewide vote Arizona tribes have had a monopoly on gambling. You remember the promises: grant us this right and we’ll do good by it, help our people and keep gambling on our lands.
Then along came the Tohono O’Odham tribe from Tucson. Through clever lawyering, political chicanery and sleights of hand that would make any great blackjack dealer jealous, they claimed a right to put a new casino on acquired land near the Phoenix Coyotes’ hockey arena.
Opposition from state leadership over the years has been intense. After all, the tribes promised in 2002 to keep gambling in certain places. Until a tribe 200 miles south of Glendale decided to go rogue.
This Sunday the Tohono O’Odham tribe will try to claim some victory as they debut their new Desert Diamond “Casino” at 9341 West Northern . But if media reports about the new facility are to be believed, claims of victory are pyrrhic, to put it generously.
Consider that it can and should be called the most unrewarding casino in the world. Why? Because it can’t even serve alcohol until at least February according to AZCentral. Here is a link.
No booze at a casino? That’s like baseball without peanuts. Pizza without cheese. Or a bikini without boobs.
And if you’re expecting to play blackjack or slot machines, think again. Because casino backers have so alienated lawmakers all they can engage in is Class II gaming. What’s that? Glorified bingo.
One would think a tribe so good at deception would be able to plan and build a more exciting enterprise with better games of chance. Instead, it’s biggest constituency is likely to be those seeking insomnia cures. And you know what? It’s deserved. The Desert Diamond Casino (aka West Valley Nursing Home & Bingo Parlor) tried to cut the line. As a result the only lines they’ll be seeing after opening are those leaving the building, in search of a beer.