Federal Government Approves Legal Arizona Sports Betting

Arizona State Flag and an Arizona Casino

The United States Department of the Interior approved on Monday an updated tribal gaming compact agreed upon last month by Gov. Doug Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders, paving way for the legalization of Arizona sports betting and online fantasy sports betting.

Said Gov. Ducey in a statement:

“Gaming creates thousands of jobs for Arizonans, it generates tax revenue that benefits key areas of our communities, and it draws visitors to our state. The tribal-state gaming compact amendment, along with its associated legislation, was the culmination of a multi-year process and I was proud to work with all the stakeholders on this historic accomplishment. The tribal-state gaming compact and its associated legislation now is officially in effect — thank you to everyone who worked to make this happen!”

Legal Gambling on Professional Sports

The approval of the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs was the last step in the legalization of Arizona sports betting. Professional teams will need to acquire state-issued licenses and set up their sports wagering operations. Backers of legal Arizona sports betting hope that everything will be ready in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Under the deal, major professional sports groups will be able to offer legal Arizona sports betting on professional sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Online fantasy sports operators like DraftKings and FanDuel can “piggyback” on the approved licenses.

The deal also allows the tribes to expand their casino gambling options by adding games like craps and baccarat or increasing the number of slot machines in their properties.

Partnerships Have Started

Since the Governor and the tribes signed the new agreement, partnerships between sports organizations and sports betting companies have started. Earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Caesars Entertainment announced a partnership to build a retail sportsbook in the plaza adjacent to Chase Field.

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns have also announced that the organization will partner with FanDuel to bring legal Arizona sportsbetting to the Phoenix Suns Arena via a retail sportsbook. The Suns say that the 6,300 square foot sportsbook is expected to be ready for the 2021-22 NBA season.

Likewise, the TPC Scottsdale which is the home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, revealed that it will be partnering with DraftKings to construct a sportsbook at the facility. TPC Scottsdale describe the project as a “19th hole experience” where fans can place bets all-year round.