Arizona Tribe Holds Job Fair

Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation last week held a job fair and ordered slot machines for its Desert Diamond West Valley Casino in Glendale. The tribe plans to open the Class II casino in December.

Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation moved towards opening its Class II casino in Glendale in December by holding a job fair last week that was attended by 3,000 potential applicants.

Desert Diamond West Valley Casino ended up hiring 400 on the spot.

Another sign that the casino opening is near: The slot machines have been ordered from Nevada-based Konami’s SYNKROS Casino Management System.

The casino’s director of slots, Don Ayers, commented, “It’s just the beginning, but with SYNKROS at the core, we have access to a number of important industry-leading technology features down the road, like SYNKiosk and Advanced Incentives bonusing.”

Because of an ongoing legal challenge, the casino will be deploying Class II rather than Class III machines, which rather have more in common with each other superficially than one might expect.

Class II machines are based on bingo, rather than on chance, but manufacturers make them as close to each other to the naked eye as possible.

Meanwhile the tribe and state of Arizona are battling in court over whether the state’s top gaming regulator should have to issue a license to the tribe. At the same time both houses of Congress have active versions of the bill Keep the Promise Act of 2015, which would prevent the tribe from opening its casino at the planned location. The bill is being pushed by Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake and Rep. Trent Franks.

One question that has come up is whether the bill would increase the deficit. The rationale for this is, if the tribe is prevented from opening its casino it might have a claim against the government, based on the notion that the tribe could lose as much as a billion dollars over the next ten years if it is prevented from opening its casino.

Currently the federal government operates under the Pay as You Go bill, or budget neutrality. Under this lay the Congressional Budget Office analyzes bills to determine their possible impact on the budget. It is the CBO that came up with the $1 billion figure. But it also concluded that there is no way to predict whether the tribe would prevail if it sued the government, or the amount it might receive if it won.