Arizona lawmakers bring back tribal sports betting bill

A bill that would allow sports betting at tribal venues in Arizona has been reintroduced by lawmakers.

A bill that would legalise land-based sports betting at tribal casinos in the state of Arizona has been reintroduced in the state’s Senate.

The piece of legislation, SB 1525, is sponsored by Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representative Steve Pierce and is a revised version of SB 1158, a similar bill that failed to become law in 2019.

What’s covered in the bill?

Under SB 1525, recognised tribes in the state of Arizona will be able to offer sports betting via land-based sportsbooks and betting kiosks. However, the proposed legislation does not permit online or mobile sports wagering.

Arizona is home to 22 recognised tribal groups and 16 of these tribes operate a combined 24 casinos across the state.

According to the language contained within the bill, tribes will be able to offer sports betting via kiosks or machines “located at one or more premises that have a bar license, a beer and wine bar license or a private club license.”

The bill also states that tribes will be able to enter a rental agreement or lease with the previously mentioned facilities for betting. However, it is not clear how this will work as the language conflicts with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) which states that tribes can only offer gambling activities on tribal reservations or land held in trust.

Under the proposed bill, licensees will be subject to a tax rate of 6.75% on adjusted gross receipts from sports betting activities and would make the Arizona Department of Gaming responsible for regulating the market. The bill did not outline the cost of purchasing a sports betting license.

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