Arizona Sports Betting FAQ: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of September Launch

Arizona Sports Betting FAQ: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of September Launch article feature image

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Arizona is gearing up to offer bets before the 2021 NFL season kicks off next week.

Here’s everything bettors need to know about sports betting in the state:

When Will Sports Betting Go Live?

The state’s first online sportsbooks are scheduled to go live at 12:01 a.m. local time Sept. 9. The 2021 NFL season kicks off at 5:20 p.m. Pacific Time.

Once live, eligible bettors age 21 and up can register, deposit and wager with a mobile device anywhere within state lines (with certain exceptions on sovereign tribal lands and certain other federal property). Bettors won’t have to complete registration in person at a casino beforehand.

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Arizona digital sportsbooks will offer live, in-game betting. Books are allowed to take bets on a wide range of professional sports leagues, games and individuals, including point spreads, totals, moneylines and individual player props in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and many more.

College betting is permitted, including on in-state programs such as the University of Arizona and Arizona State. Individual player props such as passing yards in a game are not permitted on college games.

As many as 19 Arizona Native American gaming tribes are also permitted to open retail sportsbooks at each of their casino properties. If a tribe has more than one property, it can still open a retail book at each.

Arizona is also one of the first states to allow in-stadium sportsbooks; Chase Field (MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks), State Farm Stadium (NFL’s Arizona Cardinals) and Footprint Center (NBA’s Phoenix Suns) have all announced sportsbook plans. Additionally, TPC Scottsdale (host course of the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open) and Phoenix Raceway (NASCAR and other motorsports races) will also open retail sportsbooks.

Which Arizona Sportsbooks Will Go Live?

Arizona regulators licensed 10 tribes and eight professional sports organizations to offer statewide mobile sportsbooks:

  • Bally Bet (WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury)
  • Barstool Sportsbook (Phoenix Raceway; NASCAR Championship race host track)
  • Betfred (Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation)
  • BetMGM (NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and State Farm Stadium)
  • BetRivers (Indoor Football’s Arizona Rattlers)
  • Betway (San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe)
  • Caesars (MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Field; Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino)
  • DraftKings (TPC Scottsdale; PGA TOUR’s Phoenix Open host course)
  • FanDuel (NBA’s Phoenix Suns- and Footprint Center)
  • Fubo Gaming (Ak-Chin Indian Community)
  • Golden Nugget (Hualapai Tribe)
  • SuperBook (Fort Mojave Indian Tribe)
  • TwinSpires (Tonto Apache Tribe’s Mazatzal Casino)
  • Unibet (Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe’s Quechan Casino)
  • WynnBet (San Carlos Apache Nation’s Apache Gold Casino Resort)

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes as well as the Navajo Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation also earned licenses but haven’t announced their respective online sportsbook partner. Arizona’s 2021 sports betting law permits up to 20 online licenses (10 for tribes, 10 for sports organizations), meaning there are two potential future sports league licenses available.

PointsBet believed it had earned a license, only to find out days later it had been given due to a clerical order. The company has said it will still seek ways to earn an Arizona license, possibly with a future pro sports organization.

Other sportsbooks including MaximBet and BlueBet struck tribal sports betting partnerships but did not earn online licenses. These companies can still open retail books within their respective partners’ brick-and-mortar gaming facilities.

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Could the Scheduled Arizona Sports Betting Launch be Delayed?

The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, which did not earn a sports betting license, is seeking a legal ruling to stop the Sept. 9 launch, arguing the 2021 legalization law and the ensuing license allocation process was illegal. A hearing for a preliminary injunction on a temporary restraining order will be heard Sept. 6 with a judge’s ruling expected to be announced by Sept. 7.

If the judge grants the temporary restraining order, online sportsbooks would not be able to launch Sept. 9. The lawsuit would continue through the court system for a final decision, but it could jeopardize Arizona online sports betting.

If the judge doesn’t grant the restraining order, Arizona sportsbooks could continue with their scheduled launch. It would also indicate the judge doesn’t believe the suing tribe will ultimately prevail with its lawsuit, making it highly unlikely the current system would be further delayed or derailed.

Ahead of the hearing, it’s impossible to predict which way the decision will go. Both the tribe and the defendants, the office of Gov. Doug Ducey and state gaming regulators, have hired high-profile law firms to represent them, underscoring the significance of the ruling.

A temporary restraining order days before a scheduled sports betting launch would be an extraordinary and unprecedented development. Several of the more than two-dozen states to approve sports betting have been subject to lawsuits but none have prevented a scheduled launch.

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