Arizona’s newest casino is officially welcoming guests after the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort opened its doors last week, citing an ambition of raising the bar at such establishments in the area.

Owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the new 166,341-square-foot facility replaces the original Fort McDowell Casino that initially opened in 1984 as a bingo hall.  

Eight years later, the Yavapai Nation says that it “successfully held off the attempts of federal agents to seize their slot machines, protecting their right to operate a casino on their reservation and provide livelihoods for their tribal members”.

In addition to offering a full complement of slot machines, tables, bingo and gaming amenities, the casino also features a variety of dining establishments, event venues, Native American design elements and other attributes designed to maximise comfort, safety and enjoyment.

“We’re proud that we were Arizona’s first casino and are now the state’s newest casino,” said Bernadine Burnette, president of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.  

“Gaming has been a part of our tribal community for the past three decades and has allowed us to provide financial security for our members and employees.  

“Our upscale new casino will allow us to take gaming to an entirely new level while keeping a Native American look and feel – with design elements of earth, water, fire and basket-weaving that are so important to our culture.”

The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort.

Gaming options at the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort includes 850 slot machines, a 400-seat smoke-free bingo hall with 50-inch monitors, 22 action-packed blackjack tables, and a poker room featuring five tables with live games and tournaments. 

Furthermore, all gaming areas, hotel rooms and public spaces, dining outlets and entertainment venues are 100 per cent smoke-free. In addition, full compliance with all mandated COVID-19 precautions includes taking patrons’ temperatures and only granting entry to those with 100-degree temperatures or less, a mask requirement, providing ample sanitation stations, encouraging social distancing, and limiting elevator and outlet occupancy.

The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is connected to a new four-story covered parking structure as well as the existing 246-room hotel has received AAA Four Diamond award every year since it opened in 2006. The casino shares its name with the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club across the street.