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Sports betting simplified
Regulated sports betting in Arizona did not happen overnight. In 2019, lawmakers introduced Arizona Senate Bill 1158, which would have allowed recognized tribes with a gaming compact to operate sports betting in the state. In 2020, additional bills were introduced in favor of sports betting in Arizona.
House Bill 2813 would have allowed both tribal and commercial casinos to offer sports betting. However, mobile betting would not have been permitted, and tribal casinos would have needed permission from the state before offering sports gambling at existing locations.
The second bill, Senate Bill 1525, was put forth with similar conditions, simply favoring tribal gaming over commercial casinos. Ultimately, neither of these bills made it past the Arizona legislature.
It wasn’t until April of 2021 that House Bill 2772 was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey, effectively legalizing sports betting in Arizona.
State of Arizona Sports Betting Overview
The path to sports betting legalization in Arizona has not been quick (or easy, for that matter), but as the saying goes, better late than never.
Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2772 into law on April 15, 2021. This piece of legislation paved the way for sportsbook operators in this emerging market, and online wagering went live on September 9, 2021. The bill also legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the state.
State of Arizona Sports Betting Timeline
On September 8, 2022, The BetMGM retail sportsbook location at State Farm Stadium officially opened just in time for the start of NFL Week 1. Sports bettors can visit this location just outside the stadium to enjoy all the amenities and place their wagers.
On January 13, 2022, BetMGM and the Arizona Cardinals revealed a first look at the new BetMGM Sportsbook at the State Farm Stadium campus. At nearly 17,000 square feet, this will be the very first sportsbook at an NFL stadium.
On November 8, 2021, The BetRivers sportsbook was officially launched in Arizona. Rush Street Interactive owns and operates the BetRivers platform, and they have a partnership with the Arizona Rattlers, a pro indoor football team.
On September 9, 2021, Online sports betting officially launched in Arizona on September 9, with major betting sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook ready to accept registrations and first bets.
On September 6, 2021, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith denied the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s lawsuit against the state, preventing an injunction that could have delayed the start of Arizona sports betting.
On September 3, 2021, The hearing of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe lawsuit against the state began a day earlier than expected on September 2; however, no witness testimonies or evidence was presented. A second hearing will be held on September 6, with a ruling expected by the following day.
On September 2, 2021, The Arizona Department of Gaming held its final call with AZ sports betting operators ahead of launch day on September 9. The call focused on final inspections that will take place before sports betting goes online in one week.
On September 1, 2021, Caesars Arizona revealed renderings of their retail sportsbook that will be built near Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, AZ. The retail location being built as part of a partnership with the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks will feature a 20,000 square-foot venue, wall-to-wall TVs, plus a bar and VIP lounge.
On August 31, 2021, Despite partnering with the Cliff Castle Casino, PointsBet failed to secure a sports betting license in the state of Arizona. This came as a surprise to many industry experts, but even more shocking was the fact that Cliff Castle Casio received approval on August 23 – only to be told it was an administrative error. PointsBet says they will continue to pursue Arizona sports betting market access.
On August 28, 2021, Arizona sports betting sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook began accepting pre-launch registrations from new users in the Grand Canyon State. AZ sports bettors can take advantage of special promos as long as they complete the signup process before September 9.
August 27, 2021, The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe filed a lawsuit against Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Gaming in an attempt to halt or delay the launch of AZ sports betting. While online wagering is expected to go live in the Grand Canyon State on September 9, 2021, this lawsuit could potentially put that date in jeopardy. An emergency hearing has been scheduled for September 3, 2021.
On August 23, 2021, Caesars Sportsbook announced an official partnership with the Fiesta Bowl to deliver a unique sports betting experience at State Farm Stadium. The multi-year deal will see Caesars host fan lounges for some of the state’s biggest college football games, including the Fiesta Bowl and Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
On July 26, 2021, Rules and regulations for Arizona sports betting were finalized after three rounds of public commentary. The final set of rules paves the way for AZ sports betting to launch on September 9, 2021.
On July 2, 2021, the second draft of rules for Arizona sports betting was released by the Arizona Department of Gaming with another public commentary period that lasts until July 7, 2021. This set of rules outlines potential licensing fees for sportsbook operators ($100,000 application fee, $750,000 license fee, and $150,000 annual renewal fee) along with numerous other rules and regulations.
On June 15, 2021, The first draft of sports betting rules for Arizona wasn’t delayed for long, as the Arizona Department of Gaming followed up a day later with the initial set of regulations. They have initiated a public commentary period that will last until June 21, 2021.
On June 14, 2021, The Arizona Department of Gaming announced on Twitter that while the September 9, 2021, launch date for event wagering is still being targeted, a draft of sports betting rules for the state has been delayed to allow for further review.
On May 24, 2021, The US Department of the Interior accepted Arizona’s new tribal gaming compact, which includes retail and online sports betting in the Grand Canyon state. Arizona lawmakers’ goal of launching sports betting ahead of the 2021 NFL season remains on track.