What’s Next For Arizona Sports Betting? When You Can Bet, Sportsbooks, More

What’s Next For Arizona Sports Betting? When You Can Bet, Sportsbooks, More article feature image

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Arizona lawmakers approved an online and in-stadium sports betting bill on April 12. Here’s everything bettors need to know about one of the nation’s most anticipated new markets.

When Will Arizona Sports Betting Go Live?

Arizona officials hope to launch their first online and retail sportsbooks by Sept. 1 — ahead of the first games of the 2021 NFL season.

Though sports betting has technically been legalized by the state legislature, there are still multiple steps officials must clear before betting can begin.

Gov. Doug Ducey must first sign the bills, which could come as early as this week. Then state gaming regulators must set rules for all sportsbooks seeking to enter Arizona and subsequently license them before they can go live.

This process has taken between three and 18 months in other states. Arizona passed "emergency rules" with its bill that could expedite the process, leading stakeholders, policymakers and bettors at large optimistic of a launch ahead of football season — perennially sportsbooks’ most lucrative time of the year.

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Where Can I Bet in Arizona?

Arizona’s 2021 law will allow statewide mobile wagering plus retail betting at certain tribal casinos as well as professional sports venues or adjacent properties.

Arizona will permit 10 online licenses for state gaming tribes and 10 for professional sports venues. Mobile wagering in Arizona, like in every other state with legal online betting, is expected to take the lion’s share of total wagering handle.

Most if not all tribal licenses are expected to be filled by 2021 or 2022. Currently only six professional sports organizations/facilities are eligible for the other 10 licenses:

  • State Farm Stadium in Glendale (NFL’s Arizona Cardinals)
  • Gila River Arena in Glendale (NHL’s Arizona Coyotes)
  • Chase Field in Phoenix (MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks)
  • Phoenix Suns Arena
  • TPC Scottsdale (Host of the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open)
  • Phoenix Raceway in Avondale (Host of multiple NASCAR and other autosports events)

The other four licenses will be open to other professional sports organizations, such as a rumored MLS franchise.

Arizona will be one of the first states with legal retail sportsbooks in stadiums. Most if not all of the aforementioned sports venues will either have sportsbooks physically in their facilities or in nearby commercial districts, possibly launching in late 2021 or early 2022.

When Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports in Arizona?

Arizona also legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS) along with single-game wagering Monday, opening the way for DFS providers to enter one of the last remaining markets without any legal companies operating. Like sports betting, DFS companies must pass application approvals, a process which also takes a few months.

That being said, industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel both publicly commended Arizona’s bill and lobbied for its passage. These two will likely be among the first to launch both DFS and sportsbook options in the state.

Do I Have to Register in Person?

No, bettors can sign up for any legal Arizona online sportsbook without having to register at one of the retail betting facilities first.

Which Sportsbooks Will Go Live in Arizona?

There is still significant work to be done before the first sportsbooks can go live, but Arizona should attract many of the biggest names in U.S. sports betting.

Along with market leaders such as DraftKings and FanDuel, other top sportsbooks such as BetMGM (which helped lobby the bill), PointsBet, BetRivers and Caesars/William Hill would be likely candidates.

With only 16 operators at most expected to go live by the end of 2021, there could be some other notable brands left out of the state. The good news is that Arizona bettors should soon have more than a dozen top operators to choose from.

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