For the gaming enthusiast or someone just looking to have a good time, there are seven casinos in the Phoenix, Arizona area. These include the following 2 Chandler casinos: Gila River Casino - Lone Butte and Wild Horse Pass, the following 2 Scottsdale casinos: Casino Arizona at McKellips Salt River and Talking Stick, and the Town of Maricopa's Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, Laveen's Gila River Casino - Vee Quiva, and Fountain Hills' Fort McDowell Casino.
Technically, these casinos are not a part of the cities mentioned. They are adjacent to the cities stated and are located on Native American reservations. For instance, the Casino Arizona facilities are part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community which is made up of two reservations. The tribes also conduct other business activities and many, particularly the ones located in the Scottsdale area, have completed successful near real estate developments. They also are active in sponsorships and charitable endeavors. All of these casinos with the exception of Harrah's Ak-Chin are located in Maricopa County. Harrah's Ak-Chin is located in Pinal County, near the Town of Maricopa and the City of Casa Grande.
The casinos generally offer slot machines including hi-limit slots, blackjack tables, keno, and poker rooms. Some even include bars, restaurants, and live music or entertainment. The casinos are regulated by the Arizona Department of Gaming. Tribes are required by signed compact with the state to pay up to 8% of gaming revenues to the State of Arizona. The 2003 compact capped the number of casinos in the Phoenix area, prohibiting additional casinos.
The state also regulates other things the number of slot machines per casino and total, the number of blackjack and poker tables per casino, and establishes bet limits. The state (as well as federal government) does not currently allow Internet gaming. Phoenix Arizona casinos employ thousands of people, both members of the tribe as well as other people not associate with the tribe. They also create jobs for vendor companies, like food supply companies, event planners, construction companies, security firms, and many others.
The presence of Phoenix casinos have been a selling point for certain people relocating to the Valley. For one, these casinos offer many jobs. A chef that works in a Las Vegas or Seattle area casino may accept a transfer to her company's casino facility in Maricopa County. Others simply enjoy the casino experience as a paying customer. Many people with money to spend would like to find recreational activities available to them beyond golf, hiking, biking, sporting events, and art galleries.
While this same group may travel to Las Vegas via car or short plane flight once or many times per year, they would also like to have the ability to play an occasional hand of blackjack or put some money in slot machines on a more casual basis. These people often also select Phoenix for its climate, proximate to other Western cities, and other reasons. Phoenix Arizona casinos have had a major presence in the Valley of the Sun for many years and this will continue.