Arizona sports betting will go live on Sept. 9, allowing the residents to place legal wagers on the 2021 NFL season, kicking off the same day. The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced Wednesday the target launch date, in line with the earlier expectations.
Also, draft rules for Arizona sports betting will be available for “public inspection and comment” on June 14. After the public comment period will end June 21, the ADG will have an amendment period.
The department will then submit any amended rules, if it deems so, in view of a tentative target launch date coinciding with the opening of the NFL.
Arizona sports betting includes retail and online options through tribal casinos and the state’s professional sports organizations. It allows for statewide mobile betting, also legalized daily fantasy sports (DFS). The law also allows mobile registration for new bettors.
The NFL season will kick off its 2021 season with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the Dallas Cowboys. The Arizona Cardinals will play their first game against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 12.
Strict Observance of the Stated Launch Date
The eventual launch date of Sept. 9 almost meets the expectations of Arizona lawmakers and officials who hoped to launch sports betting by Sept. 1. It comes less than two months after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a new tribal compact involving sports betting.
The US Department of the Interior, whose approval is required for any such compact, also acted quickly as it gave the compact the go-ahead May 24.
The Department of Gaming began to work on regulatory issues and outlined the express timeline.
The state lawmakers had passed sports betting as an emergency clause to expedite the process to launch sports betting ahead of the NFL.
New Alliances Forming Ahead of the Launch
Many potential stakeholders have already flocked to share their claims of a lucrative industry. FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars have already made business alliances in the Grand Canyon State.
A day before Ducey signed Arizona sports betting into law, DraftKings announced the expansion of partnership with the PGA Tour in a bid to gain retail and online sports betting access in the state.
FanDuel announced a multi-year partnership with the Phoenix Suns around the time Ducey was signing the legislation on April 15. The New York-based operator plans to open a retail sportsbook inside the Phenix Suns Arena ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season.
On May 6, Caesars Entertainment announced a sports betting deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing the Nevada-based casino operator to have mobile and retail sportsbooks on the plaza adjacent to Chase Field.
In addition to these companies, more sportsbooks- such as BetMGM and theScore- have expressed interest to launch operations in Arizona.
The legislation allows for as many as ten licenses for sports franchises and another ten for tribes.
Arizona Gaming Tribes
The state’s gaming tribes will have as many as ten licenses for tribal casinos. Tribes, which have multiple casinos, can operate those under the same license.
According to the legislative fiscal note, Arizona could bring in over $154 million in annual taxable sports betting revenue in the coming years.
When the department releases draft rules on June 14, it will leave nearly two months for the licensing process to complete before the Sept. 9 launch.