Newcomers’ Guide to Casinos in the Valley

Editorial StaffNovember 1, 2022
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Roll the dice on a night – or a weekend – of fun at these gaming and entertainment hot spots.

Photo courtesy Desert diamond west valley casino
Photo courtesy Desert diamond west valley casino

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino

Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale gets a serious kick in the caboose with this ever-evolving gaming palace from Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation. Slots and electronic bingo are in the offing, along with the new Nineteen 86 Steakhouse featuring craft brews and cocktails. Future amenities include a spa, hotel, table games and more as the casino continues its ambitious $400 million expansion. 9431 W. Northern Ave., Glendale, 623-877-7777, ddcaz.com

Casino Arizona

Put your precious coinage in the Lord of the Rings slot machine at this gamers’ mecca and card room in Scottsdale. Amenities include fine dining at Cholla Steakhouse & Lounge, top cover bands at The Showroom and sports betting at CAZ Sports Bar. If you win big, treat yourself to a 14th-floor sports massage at sister property Talking Stick Resort & Casino up the road, and dine at Orange Sky, one of the Valley’s top steakhouses, with postcard views. 524 N. 92nd St., Scottsdale, 480-850-7777, casinoarizona.com

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino

This slot-encrusted jewel of the South Valley has everything you need for a well-rounded weekend of indulgence, including Chop, Block & Brew steakhouse, the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, a swim-up pool bar and sundry bingo, Keno and table-play options. Also cool: The hotel and casino features an impressive array of art pieces and installations created by indigenous artists. 15406 Maricopa Rd., Maricopa, 480-802-5000, caesars.com/harrahs-ak-chin

We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

Endowed with four on-site restaurants and two superb 18-hole golf courses that showcase the clean desert beauty of the McDowell Mountain foothills, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is always in the conversation when it comes to gaming-friendly staycations. Must-do experiences: splurge on the crab Oscar upgrade for your bone-in ribeye at Ember, the resort’s ritzy new chophouse; and keep an eye peeled for slumbering coyotes on the back nine arroyos at Cholla, perhaps the finest public golf course in the Valley. 10438 WeKoPa Way, Fort McDowell, 480-789-4957, wekopacasinoresort.com

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

This Gila River property is one of our favorite casinos in the Valley, with a first-rate pool scene and private cabanas. Gaming fiends can get their fix in the casino, followed by live entertainment at Chrome Nightclub. Dining options include Prime, a Shula’s Steak House on the hotel rooftop, but if you win big, Top 5 Valley restaurant Kai is a free, five-minute shuttle away at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 800-946-4452, playatgila.com/resorts/wild-horse-pass

This article first appeared in the 2023 City Guide, published by PHOENIX magazine in November 2022.