Gila River casinos adds $150m+ Santan Mountain as fourth location

Gila River Santan Mountain

Gila River Hotels and Casinos is looking to grow its legacy through Arizona, after breaking ground on a fourth gaming venue within the state at a “momentous ceremony” this week.

The group described the entertainment and gaming facility, which will cost in excess of $150m and create more than 650 new jobs, as a “modern inviting desert oasis”.

When complete, the project, named Santan Mountain, will include more than 850 slots and table games including mini baccarat, craps and roulette as well as an exclusive high limit gaming salon. 

A BetMGM sportsbook will extend the casino floor and offer multiple large-screen televisions for viewing live games and convenient sports betting. 

The new property will also provide an array of dining options as well as a bar in the centre of the casino floor featuring entertainment, with a hotel potentially being added in the future. The project also calls for road and other infrastructure improvements in the surrounding area.

Anthony Villareal, Gila River’s casino expansion owner’s team chair and councilman, commented: “I’m so proud to witness this historic moment, which really is a testament to the hard work of our board and the collaboration of our partners and team members. 

“We will have many exciting milestones ahead with Santan Mountain, and all of them will be beneficial to our community.”

The development was unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony on Gila River Indian Community land south of the city Chandler.

Gila River Indian Community, Gila River Hotels & Casinos and project leadership invited partners and state officials to celebrate the addition of the casino, which was approved by the state’s reinstated and amended gaming compact in May.

Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, who attended the event, stated: “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.”

GRIC operates Gila River Hotels & Casinos, which includes Wild Horse Pass and Lone Butte, both in Chandler, and Vee Quiva in the West Valley.

The gaming enterprise is also slated to open a $14m expansion project at the former of the aforementioned properties later this year, which will bring 205 additional guest rooms, new meeting space, two pools and a rooftop restaurant and lounge to the Chandler property. This marks the first expansion since Wild Horse Pass opened in 2009.