New Gila River Santan Mountain Casino On Schedule For Planned 2023 Opening

Written By C.J. Pierre on June 30, 2022 - Last Updated on January 30, 2023

Gila River Hotels & Casinos remains one of the more popular brands in Arizona. With three locations already welcoming customers regularly, gamblers in the Valley are highly anticipating the fourth venue.

Gila River is preparing to open the Santan Mountain Casino. Plans were announced after the state’s gaming compact with Arizona’s Native American tribes was reinstated and amended in 2021.

Expectations have been that the new gambling and entertainment destination will open in 2023. And so far, all signs point to that still being the case.

Details on the new Gila River Santan Mountain Casino

Adding to the long list of Arizona Casinos, the Gila River Indian Community broke ground in October 2021 on their new casino at Santan Mountain.

Courtesy: Gila River Hotels & Casinos

Construction of the 160-acre, $150 million property is happening south of Chandler, Arizona, near Gilbert Road and Hunt Highway. Construction is underway. It should take another 9 to 15 months to complete. This means the project is on track to finish sometime in 2023.

When complete, Santan Mountain will include more than 850 slots and table games, including mini-baccarat, craps and roulette. There will also be an exclusive High Limit Gaming Salon.

The new casino will also include a nearly 7,000-square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook and bar that will extend the casino floor. Furthermore, it will offer plush seating and multiple large-screen TVs for sports fans to watch live games. It will also be another convenient location for sports betting in Arizona.

The new property will also provide multiple dining options, a lively bar in the center of the casino floor featuring entertainment and 6,000 square feet of functional space.

What a new casino means to the community

The new casino was included in the April 2021 gaming compact amendments that added sports betting. This will be the fourth casino that the Gila River Indian Community will own.

Tribe Governor Stephen Roe Lewis says adding a fourth casino will bring additional revenue, security, and critical services to Community members.

“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,” said Governor Lewis.

Governor Lewis also says the project will create hundreds of new jobs. He expects Community members to fill up most of the positions. Starting in July, casino officials will recruit a total of 700 staff members from the local community.

The casino may add a hotel in the future. The project also calls for road and other infrastructure improvements in the surrounding area. For more information, visit

Photo by Steelman Partners
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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