Guide to Phoenix, Scottsdale casinos and casino resorts

Get a taste of Las Vegas at the eight casinos scattered throughout metro Phoenix.

Dawn Gilbertson
The Republic |
A view of the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino.

Get a taste of Las Vegas with a visit to one of the eight casinos scattered throughout metro Phoenix. Five of them offer full-fledged getaways with a hotel, fine dining, headline entertainers and more, no long drive or plane ticket required.

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Talking Stick Resort and Casino, Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale

For details on Talking Stick, read our complete guide.

Talking Stick is the premier casino resort in metro Phoenix and handily competes with its non-casino resort neighbors throughout Scottsdale. Beyond the slot machines and gaming tables, the resort has it all: restaurants, bars, pools, concerts and other entertainment, a spa, golf and even a barbershop. Nearby attractions include Top Golf, a luxury driving range with food and drinks; Salt River Fields, the spring-training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies; and the new OdySea Aquarium.

A Talking Stick Resort and Casino room.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, Gila River Reservation near Chandler 

Workers at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino

Wild Horse Pass is the perfect spot for an East Valley gaming getaway. The casino is smaller than the one at Talking Stick but the layout is the most Vegas-like, with a video-poker bar in the center and restaurants ringing the gaming floor. There's a food court and fine dining. The pool isn't flashy but it has plenty of lounge chairs, cabanas are available to rent and bottled water is free. Nightlife includes concerts and a dance club. Spa treatments and golf are available nearby at sister hotel Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Resort. Nearby attractions include Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse, Phoenix Premium Outlets and Bondurant Racing School.

For details on Wild Horse Pass, read our complete guide.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino,  Ak-Chin Reservation near Maricopa 

Casino-goers at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino

Harrah's is the veteran among Valley casino hotels and the least flashy but has something other local casinos don't: ties to Las Vegas casino giant Caesars Entertainment. Gambling points at Ak-Chin can be redeemed for trips to The Strip. Harrah's keeps evolving. It added a second tower of hotel rooms in 2011 and is in the midst of a major expansion that will add 230 rooms, a spa, restaurants including a wine bar, and a much-needed new casino and hotel lobby. It will be finished in stages in 2017 and 2018.

For details on Harrah's Ak-Chin, read our complete guide.

We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center and Fort McDowell Casino, Fort McDowell-Yavapai Reservation near Fountain Hills 

The We-Ko-Pa Resort has plenty of Native American art throughout.

We-Ko-Pa Resort, formerly the Radisson Fort McDowell, is unique among casino hotels in metro Phoenix because the casino is next door to rather than in the hotel. The two properties couldn't be more different: We-Ko-Pa is  polished and upscale with all the amenities of a traditional Scottsdale resort, while the casino is dark, outdated and smoky, but oh-so-close for vacationers who want a little gambling with their resort getaway. Nearby attractions include Fountain Hills' signature fountain, one of the largest in the world, as well as Fort McDowell Adventures, which offers horseback riding, jeep tours and Segway tours. The resort offers a shuttle to Fountain Hills.

For details on We-Ko-Pa Resort and Fort McDowell Casino, read our complete guide.

Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino, Gila River Reservation near Laveen 

A worker at the Vee Quiva Casino.

Vee Quiva is in the middle of nowhere by most definitions, more than 10 miles away from Interstate 10 in an area still dotted with farmland, which makes it a perfect, tucked-away getaway. The hotel and casino opened in 2013, bringing new restaurant and entertainment options to the southwest Valley. Vee Quiva is more boutique hotel than resort, a smaller Wild Horse Pass. It's plush and modern, with big-screen TVs and bathrobes in guest rooms room and plenty of Vegas flavor in the casino, perfect for a girls or couples getaway. Don't miss the artsy Arizona images on every hotel room door.

For details on Vee Quiva, read our complete guide.

Casino Arizona, Salt-River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation near Scottsdale  

Casino Arizona is smaller than its sister location, but the spacious stand-alone casino is popular with locals and winter visitors.

Casino Arizona tends to take a back seat to the flashier sister property Talking Stick Resort 5 miles north, but the spacious stand-alone casino is popular with locals and winter visitors. Bingo is a big draw, as are the buffet specials, steakhouse and showroom events.

For details on Casino Arizona, read our complete guide.

Desert Diamond Casino, Tohono O'odham Reservation near Glendale 

Desert Diamond Casino is the Valley's newest casino.

The Valley's newest casino, in the shadow of University of Phoenix Stadium and Westgate Entertainment District, is the place to gamble after a game or concert. But don't expect to order a drink, play blackjack or grab a fancy meal. Desert Diamond, which opened in December 2015, does not yet have the type of state gambling license that allows table games or alcoholic beverages, and it has just one restaurant, called the Food Court. The casino is a riot of neon, with contemporary art and disco lighting. The casino is temporary — it will be replaced when a planned casino hotel debuts in a few years.

For more details on Desert Diamond, read our complete guide.

Lone Butte Casino, Gila River Reservation near Chandler 

Lone Butte is easily accessible from the Loop 202 SanTan freeway off the Kyrene Road exit.

Lone Butte is easily accessible from the Loop 202 SanTan freeway off the Kyrene Road exit. Its 750-seat bingo hall is popular and is open in the morning and from early evening to late at night. Starting in October, look out for Bingo Millions, in which players could win $1 million. The casino has an events center for weddings and corporate gatherings.

For more details on Lone Butte, read our complete guide.

Jennifer McClellan contributed to this article. 

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