Arizona sports betting became legal last April, when Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772 into a law. But it won’t be operational until the Arizona Department of Gaming can formulate and finalize the rules and regulations governing Arizona sports betting.
With state leaders wanting to launch Arizona sports betting by the time the NFL’s 2021 season starts, the Department of Gaming is working double-time in formulating the rules.
Said Max Hartgraves, public information officer of the Arizona Department of Gaming:
“We do need to set up a whole new regulatory structure and develop these rules. So, we are on a pretty tight timetable. Luckily, we do have that emergency clause, so we’re able to kind of expedite that rule-making process. But, just putting that whole regulatory structure in place, because this form of gaming has never been legal in the state.”
20 Licenses Have Been Issued
So far, a total of 20 Arizona sports betting licenses have been issued. 10 of these were given to Arizona tribal casinos while the other 10 were awarded to Arizona professional sports teams. Positioning has been quick with sports betting companies partnering with different sports teams in recent months.
The Arizona Diamondbacks of the MLB have partnered with Caesars Entertainment to build a retail sportsbook in the plaza adjacent to Chase Field and will launch their mobile sports betting app. The NBA’s Phoenix Suns will team up with FanDuel to bring a sportsbook to the Phoenix Suns Arena. Meanwhile, golf’s TPC Scottsdale has paired with DraftKings for the establishment of a sportsbook at its facility.
Approval by Bureau of Indian Affairs
Last month, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the final nod for the legalization of Arizona sports betting by approving the amended tribal state gaming agreement between Gov. Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders. The tribes fought to protect their exclusive rights to most gambling in Arizona and they got that under the new agreement.
Aside from operating Arizona sports betting, the new law allows the tribal casinos to expand their gaming offerings by adding games such as baccarat and craps. They were also permitted to increase the number of slot machines while maintaining their existing offers for poker and blackjack.