As the site of iconic Old West locations like Tombstone, Arizona has long been associated with gambling. However, the saloons and gaming dens of the 19th century have now been replaced with casinos, which today represent big business in the Grand Canyon State.
In fact, Arizona’s many Native American-owned casinos earn approximately $2 billion annually in gross gaming revenue. That places the state fifth in the country in terms of tribal gaming, only exceeded by California, Oklahoma, Florida, and Washington.
Just a few years after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act became law in 1988, Arizona started forming tribal-state compacts to allow its many tribes to conduct Class III casino-style gaming on their lands. Formerly a bingo hall, We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort (then known as Fort McDowell Casino) was the first tribal casino to open in Arizona in 1992.
By the end of the 1990s, nearly 20 casinos had opened, with a few more arriving during the 2000s and 2010s. The most recent addition is the Apache Sky Casino in Winkelman, which opened in 2017.
Here’s an overview of what visitors to Arizona casinos can expect to find.
Indeed there are. In fact, there are 25 casinos scattered throughout Arizona. None are commercial casinos, with all properties owned and operated by Native American tribes.
There are 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona, and the state has gaming compacts with all of them. Of that total, no less than 16 different tribes currently operate casinos in the state.
Many Arizona tribes operate just one or two casinos. However, the Tohono O’odham Nation located in the southern part of the state has four different Desert Diamond properties. The Gila River Indian Community, whose territory is just north of the Tohonos, also runs three casinos.
Some of these tribal casinos are especially large. For example, Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale has 240,000 square feet of gaming space, while Casino Del Sol in Tucson has more than 1,300 slot machines. There are also several modest-sized facilities such as Spirit Mountain Casino in Mohave Valley or Yavapai Casino in Prescott.
In the mid-1990s, the state’s lawmakers created the Arizona Department of Gaming to work with the tribes and provide oversight for gambling in Arizona. Around that same time, the Arizona Indian Gaming Association was created by tribal leaders and continues to represent several of the tribes with gaming interests.
Initially, the minimum age to gamble in an Arizona casino had been 18 years old. But in 2003, the law was changed to raise the minimum age to 21 years old.
Arizona casinos offer the same variety of games found in casinos around the country. Slots are especially popular, as are bingo and keno.
Many casinos feature poker rooms as well. Soon, you might find sportsbooks in casinos, as Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in April 2021 to legalize AZ sportsbooks.
As is the case all over the country, slots represent the primary attraction in casinos. Visitors will find all of the most popular slots titles, including lots of progressive jackpots. Video poker, video blackjack, and video keno are often among the offerings as well.
Casino Del Sol has the most slot machines of any casino in Arizona with over 1,300. However, there are several other casinos with more than 1,000 slots:
The tribal-state compacts put the limit on the total number of slots allowed in the state at just over 20,000. At the moment, there are close to 16,000 slot machines in the state. Those compacts also set the maximum bet at $25.
Blackjack is an especially popular offering among the different table games found in Arizona casinos. All of the properties that offer table games include blackjack. In addition, many casinos feature other popular card games like Pai Gow poker, 3-card poker, High Card Flush, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
Some Arizona casinos have roulette, craps, and other table games as well, though these games aren’t as widespread. You won’t necessarily find those games in the smaller Arizona casinos.
Several tribal casinos in Arizona began as bingo halls, and bingo continues to be a very popular game offered in many of the state’s casinos. Many have bingo halls with hundreds of seats, with some like Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort featuring 1,000-seat rooms.
Keno is another staple of Arizona casinos, with some featuring progressive jackpots just like with slots. Many have special keno parlors or lounges where players can pick their numbers while dining, watching sports, and/or socializing.
Roughly half of Arizona casinos have poker rooms. The largest is at Talking Stick Resort in Prescott with nearly 50 tables. The Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in Glendale also has quite a large poker room with 36 tables.
The Gila River Indian Community tribe also boasts decent-sized poker rooms at two of its casinos. There’s a 25-table room at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler and a 16-table room at the Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino in Laveen Village.
No matter where you are in Arizona, you are likely not too far away from a casino.
There are 25 casinos scattered throughout the state, including multiple casinos in Chandler, Prescott, Scottsdale, and Tucson. The northern third of Arizona has the fewest casinos, while most are located in the central and southern parts of the state.
|Apache Gold Casino Resort||San Carlos||777 Geronimo Springs Blvd.|
|Apache Sky Casino||Winkelman||777 Apache Sky Blvd.|
|Blue Water Resort & Casino||Parker||11300 Resort Dr.|
|Bucky's Casino||Prescott||1500 AZ-69|
|Casino Arizona||Scottsdale||524 N. 92nd St.|
|Casino Del Sol||Tucson||5655 W. Valencia Rd.|
|Casino of the Sun||Tucson||7406 S. Camino De Oeste|
|Cliff Castle Casino Hotel||Camp Verde||555 W. Middle Verde Rd.|
|Cocopah Resort Casino||Somerton||15318 S. Avenue B|
|Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment Tucson||Tucson||7350 S. Nogales Hwy.|
|Desert Diamond Sahuarita Casino and Resort||Sahuarita||1100 W. Pima Mine Rd.|
|Desert Diamond Casino West Valley||Glendale||9431 W. Northern Ave.|
|Desert Diamond Casino Why||Why||Hwy. 86, Mile Post 55|
|Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino||Maricopa||15406 N. Maricopa Rd.|
|Hon-Dah Resort Casino||Pinetop||777 AZ-260|
|Lone Butte Casino||Chandler||1077 S. Kyrene Rd.|
|Mazatzal Casino||Payson||Hwy. 87, Mile Post 251|
|Paradise Casino||Yuma||450 Quechan Dr.|
|Spirit Mountain Casino||Mohave Valley||8555 AZ-95|
|Talking Stick Resort||Scottsdale||9800 Talking Stick Way|
|Twin Arrows Casino||Flagstaff||22181 Resort Blvd.|
|Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino||Laveen Village||15091 S. Komatke Lane|
|We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort||Fort McDowell||10438 WeKoPa Way|
|Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino||Chandler||5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd.|
|Yavapai Casino||Prescott||1505 AZ-69|
Real-money online gambling is not legal in Arizona. That means you won’t find any real-money online casinos like there are in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states that allow them.
That said, there are multiple online sweepstakes casinos that do serve players in Arizona. Sometimes called social casinos, sweepstakes casinos utilize virtual currencies as opposed to real money, thereby allowing them to operate according to the state’s sweepstakes laws.
Typically these sites invite players to purchase coins with which to play games. These coins have no cash value, and the prizes come in the same cashless currency. However, players can also earn a second currency as bonuses for making purchases, playing games, through Facebook giveaways, and by other methods.
This second currency can be similarly wagered in games on the site, enabling players to accumulate more of it and eventually exchange it for cash and withdraw.
Here are a few popular examples of sweepstakes casinos.
Chumba Casino is a popular sweepstakes-based online casino with over 70 slots games as well as blackjack and video poker. Operated by the Australia-based company Virtual Gaming Worlds, the site offers lots of incentives to players, including different ways to collect Sweeps Coins, the currency that can be exchanged for cash.
As the name suggests, LuckyLand Slots is a slots-centric social online casino also operated by Virtual Gaming Worlds. The site rewards players simply for logging on each day and playing. While LuckyLand only has around 30 slots games, all are exclusive to the site. LuckyLand Slots also features scratcher and instant win games. Like Chumba Casino, players on LuckyLand Slots can accumulate Sweeps Coins that can be redeemed for cash.
Funzpoints is another sweepstakes-based online casino that offers both slots games and daily jackpot drawings. Operated by the Nova Scotia-based company Woopla, Inc., Funzpoints features around 30 different slots titles plus one keno game. Players can choose to play in either the standard free-play mode or the premium mode, with the Premium Funzpoints currency available to be exchanged for cash.