In April 2021, the state of Arizona became the latest state to legalize sports betting, however, the activity has yet to go live. While the Grand Canyon State has yet to launch sports betting, there are still several other activities available to gambling enthusiasts in the state. So what will the state’s soon-to-launch betting market look like? Read on for an overview of sports betting in Arizona.
AZ Online Betting Regulation
Is It Legal To Bet on Sports in Arizona?
Yes, in April 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that would bring legal sports betting to the state of Arizona.
Under the state’s sports betting legislation, 20 sports betting licenses will be available which means that residents will have plenty of legal betting options once the market gets off the ground.
As well as signing the bill into law, Ducey negotiated new compacts with the Tribal groups that operate gambling in the state to include sports betting. The amended compacts must still be approved by the US Department of the Interior before they can come into effect.
Arizona’s sports betting market will include the state’s tribal casinos and major professional sports teams. Both federally recognized Tribes and online gambling operators that partner with professional sports teams can apply for a sports betting license.
The Arizona Department of Gaming has said that it expects sports betting to launch on 9 September 2021, right in time for the start of the latest NFL season.
Where Will I Be Able To Bet on Sporting Events in Arizona?
Under the sports betting law in Arizona, bettors will be able to place bets with online sports betting apps and in-person at land-based casino sportsbooks in the state.
As previously mentioned, up to 20 sports betting licenses will be made available and ten of these will be set aside for the state’s major sports teams. These licenses would allow sports teams to run sports betting operations at their facilities and team up with sportsbook operators at their venues and land-based casinos.
The remaining licenses would be allocated to federally recognized tribes located in the state. Tribes that operate more than one casino would be able to offer sports betting at all of their facilities as long as the group holds a license.
So far, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, Barstool Sportsbook, and PointsBet have already secured market access agreements with entities in the state, and will therefore offer sports betting as soon as they can.
AZ Sports Betting Sites
Under the state’s betting laws, there are 20 sports betting licenses up for grabs, with 10 being made available to the state’s tribal operators and 10 for professional sports teams.
In August, the ADG revealed that 18 out of 20 of the licenses have been awarded. The list of approved operators and their partners include:
- Bally Bet and WNBA‘s Phoenix Mercury.
- Barstool Sportsbook and Phoenix Raceway.
- BetFred and the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation.
- BetMGM and NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. (BetMGM partner Gila River did not receive a license)
- BetRivers and the Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers.
- Betway and the San Juan Southern Palute Tribe.
- Caesars Sportsbook and MLB‘s Arizona Diamondbacks.
- DraftKings Sportsbook and TPC Scottsdale.
- FanDuel Sportsbook and NBA‘s Phoenix Suns
- Fubo Gaming and the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
- Golden Nugget and the Hualapai Tribe.
- SuperBook and the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe.
- TwinSpires and the Tonto Apache Tribe.
- Unibet and the Quechan Tribe.
- WynnBet and the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Unfortunately, the operators PointsBet, BlueBet, and MaximBet failed to receive a license in the state.
Which Sports Will I Be Able To Bet On?
Once sports betting in Arizona launches, bettors in the state will be able to legally bet on professional sports events and leagues including the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB, as well as collegiate sporting events.
What Else Can I Bet on in Arizona?
Until sports betting is legalized in Arizona, residents can participate in a variety of gambling activities. The state lottery offers a selection of lottery games that include interstate draws. Residents can also play bingo games that are hosted by tribal groups and charitable organizations.
As an alternative to real-money online gambling, residents can play at online social casino sites for fun. You cannot win real money prizes at these sites. Several casinos in the state operate social casino sites such as Casino del Sol, Talking Stick Casino and the Desert Diamond Casinos. You also have the standard range of online social casino games offered by Zynga, Slotomania and Big Fish.
There are about 16 federally recognized tribes that operate 24 casinos with Las Vegas-style gambling. At these venues, you can enjoy a variety of games such as slots, poker and blackjack.
Here’s a comprehensive list of casinos that currently operate in Arizona:
|Casino Name||Location||Contact||Opening Hours|
|Appache Gold Casino Resort||777 Geronimo Springs Blvd, San Carlos, AZ 85550, USA||+1 732-222-510||[email protected]||24 hours|
|Apache Sky Casino||777 Apache Sky Blvd, Winkelman, AZ 85192, USA||+1 928-475-0077||[email protected]||24 hours|
|BlueWater Resort and Casino||11300 Resort Dr, Parker, AZ 85344, USA||+1 928-669-7000||Online form||24 hours|
|Bucky’s Casino||1500 AZ-69, Prescott, AZ 86301, USA||+1 800-756-8744||Online form||24 hours|
|Casino Arizona||524 N 92nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, USA||+1 480-850-7777||Online form||24 hours|
|Casino del Sol||5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85757, USA||+1 855-765-7829||Online form||24 hours|
|Casino of the Sun||7406 S Camino De Oeste, Tucson, AZ 85746, USA||+1 520-883-1700||Online form||24 hours|
|Cliff Castle Casino Hotel||555 W Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde, AZ 86322, USA||+1 928-567-7999||[email protected] cliffcastlecasinohotel.com||24 hours|
|Cocopah Resort Casino||15318 S Avenue B, Somerton, AZ 85350, USA||+1 800-237-5687||Not available||24 hours|
|Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson||7350 S. Nogales Highway, Tucson, AZ 85756||+1 866-332-9467||Online form||24 hours|
|Desert Diamond Casino, Sahuarita||1100 W. Pima Mine Road, Sahuarita, AZ 85629||+1 866-332-9467||Online form||24 hours|
|Desert Diamond Casino–West Valley||9431 W. Northern Ave, Glendale, AZ 85305||+1 866-332-9467||Online form||24 hours|
|Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino, Why||Highway 86, Milepost 55, Why, AZ 85321||+1 866-332-9467||Online form||24 hours|
|Fort McDowell Casino||10424 N Fort McDowell Rd, Fort McDowell, AZ 85264, USA||+1 800-843-3678||Online form||24 hours|
|Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino||15406 N Maricopa Rd, Maricopa, AZ 85139, USA||+1 480-802-5000||Not available||24 hours|
|Hon-Dah Resort Casino||777 Hwy 260, Pinetop, Arizona 85935, USA||+1 800-929-8744||Not available||24 hours|
|Lone Butte Casino||1077 S Kyrene Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226, USA||+1 800-946-4452||Not available||24 hours|
|Mazatzal Hotel & Casino||Highway 87, Mile Marker 251, Payson, AZ 85541, USA||+1 928-474-6044||Not available||24 hours|
|Paradise Casino||450 Quechan Dr, Yuma, AZ 85364, USA||+1 760-572-7777||[email protected]||24 hours|
|Spirit Mountain Casino||27100 SW Salmon River Hwy, Grand Ronde, OR 97347, USA||+1 503-879-2350||Online form||24 hours|
|Talking Stick Resort||9800 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, USA||+1 480-850-7777||Online form||24 hours|
|Twin Arrows Casino Resort||22181 Resort Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, USA||+1 928-856-7200||[email protected]||24 hours|
|Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino||15091 South Komatke Lane Laveen, AZ 85339, USA||+1 800-946-4452||Not available||24 hours|
|Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino||5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd. Chandler, AZ 85226, USA||+1 800-946-4452||Not available||24 hours|
|Yavapai Casino||1505 AZ-69, Prescott, AZ 86303, USA||+1 928-445-5767||Online form||24 hours|
Are Offshore Gambling Sites Legal in Arizona?
Offshore gambling sites exist as a grey area in Arizona, as Arizona’s laws do not address any form of online gambling. Although offshore gambling is not explicitly illegal, we recommend staying well away from these offshore platforms, as they are not regulated or licensed to operate in the state of Arizona. This means they may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players. You also have no way of knowing who is handling the money you deposit into these online accounts.
You can identify an offshore gambling site by its website domain name. If you see a domain that ends in .EU or .AG, it does not hold a license to operate in Arizona and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
Will It Be Safe To Bet on Sports in Arizona?
The rules and regulations around gambling in Arizona are strict and place an emphasis on player safety and security. If sports betting is legalized in Arizona, it is sure to be a strictly regulated activity that is both fair and safe. Although regulations are in place to protect players, it is still up to players to ensure they gamble responsibly and never bet more than they can afford to.
If you’re worried that you or someone you know may be at risk of developing a gambling problem, you can access several resources from the National Council on Problem Gambling. Arizona residents also have access to the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, a non-profit organization that aims to educate and help prevent the spread of problem gambling.
You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:
You can contact the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling Via:
Email: [email protected]
Who Regulates Gambling in Arizona?
The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) is the state agency responsible for regulating tribal gambling, pari-mutuel racing, and wagering, boxing, and mixed martial arts. The ADG was established in 1995 after the state recognized the growing tribal gambling market would require an independent regulatory body.
How Old Do I Have To Be To Gamble in Arizona?
Arizona residents must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a lottery ticket or partake in charitable gambling. In order to gamble at one of the state’s casinos, you must be 21 years old.
AZ Sports Betting History
The Journey to Legal and Regulated Sports Betting in Arizona
1912 – Arizona became a state. The state laws banned all forms of gambling where the house could make a profit. However, exceptions were made for social gambling, where no one makes a profit.
1980 – The Arizona legislature approved a state lottery.
1988 – Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA), establishing rules and regulations for tribal gaming operations.
1990 – At this point, the tribes were able to approach the state legislature to discuss the compact agreements for gambling. However, some tribes decided to go ahead and launch gambling operations in their venues without negotiating compacts with the state. This led to an intense legal dispute between the tribes and Governor Fyfe Symington.
Several other tribes began to discuss the possibility of entering state-tribal compacts for gambling in Arizona.
1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.
The same year, the National Indian Gaming Commission stated that the tribes must have a state-tribe compact in order to offer slot machines. After this statement was made, Symington asked the FBI to raid the casinos that offered gambling.
A casino operated by the Yavapai Indians on the Fort McDowell reservation that had about 300 slot machines was one of the last casinos to be raided by the FBI. As several other casinos were raided, the tribe prepared themselves.
After the machines were loaded into trailers, the tribe blocked the only road out of the casino with large vehicles and heavy machinery. This led to an eight-hour standoff between the FBI and the tribe. In the end, the FBI left the machines for a cooling-off period which lasted three weeks.
This put pressure on the governor to negotiate the tribe and state compacts.
1994 – By 31 December, 16 tribes entered compacts with the state and 10 casinos were in operation. These compacts allowed the tribes to offer casino gambling and slot machines.
1995 – The Arizona legislature created the Arizona Department of Gaming to oversee gambling activity in the state.
2003 – Tribal-state compacts were renewed, and five additional tribes entered agreements with the state. This brought the total number of federally recognized tribes that conducted gambling operations to 21.
2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision on the legality of PASPA. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as its commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.
2019 – In January state lawmakers introduced a bill that would grant the tribes with gambling operations in Arizona the exclusive right to offer sports betting.
2020 – In February, two lawmakers introduced SB 1525 in an effort to legalize sports betting in the state. The bill would also have allowed tribal groups to offer sports betting offsite from their reservations which is a violation of the current rules for tribal gambling.
2021 – On 14 January, Governor Doug Ducey called for the legalization of sports betting to help revitalize the state’s gambling market during his State of the State address.
In March, the House of Representatives approved HB 2772 by a vote of 48-12. Under this bill, sports betting would become legal in the state of Arizona.
On 12 April, the Senate approved HB 2772 by a vote of 23-6 before sending it to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Then on 15 April, Governor Dough Ducey signed the bill into law, paving the way for sports betting to launch in Arizona.
In May, the US Department of the Interior approved the new tribal compacts between the state and its tribal gambling partners.
In June, the Arizona Department of Gaming set a 9 September 2021 launch date for sports betting in the state. The regulator also announced a public comment period for sports betting rules and regulations.
On 17 June, the first draft of rules for sports betting in Arizona was released and made available for public comment. Industry stakeholders published written comments on 28 June.
In July the state regulator published a proposed tax rate and licensing fee structure for sports betting and held a public comment session to discuss the second draft of sports betting rules. Later on in this, the regulator also held a discussion on license allocation and clarified the rules around this.
On 26 July, the state regulator opened its two-week application period for sports betting licenses.
If all goes to plan, Arizona should be ready to launch sports betting in time for the 2021 NFL season. Be sure to check back with Compare.bet US for more updates on sports betting in Arizona.
Throughout August, several high-profile US sportsbooks announced market access deals with sports teams and tribal groups located in the state. This included BetMGM and the Arizona Cardinals and Betfred and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.
On 17 August, the state regulator revealed that there were more than 10 tribal sports betting applications. Under the state regulation, 10 licenses would be made available to tribes and another 10 were allocated to sports teams.
On 27 August, the Arizona Department of Gaming revealed that 18 out of a potential 20 licenses had been awarded to sports betting operators and their partner organizations. On the same day, two lawsuits were filed against the state regulator that had the potential to delay the launch of sports betting in Arizona.
On 28 August, the state’s legal daily fantasy sports market went live, and approved sportsbooks began signing up customers.
On 6 September, the lawsuit filed by the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe which sought to delay the launch of sports betting in Arizona was dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith. Arizona remains on track to launch sports betting on 9 September 2021.