Arizona Sports Betting Compact Gets Federal Approval

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Arizona sports betting cleared all phases to the finishing line on Monday when the Department of the Interior approved the new tribal gaming compact. The amended tribal-state gaming deal, which also includes statewide mobile betting and fantasy sports, is now official and effective.

It comes more than a month after Gov. Doug Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders signed the compact on April 15. The renegotiated compact includes retail and online betting in Arizona.

“Gaming creates thousands of jobs for residents, and generates tax revenue… and it draws visitors to our state,” said Ducey while announcing the federal approval. “The tribal-state gaming compact amendment, along with the related legislation, was the culmination of a multi-year process and I was proud to work with all the stakeholders on this historic accomplishment.

When is the Launch Expected?

The initial plan to launch Arizona sports betting in time for the NFL season appears to be intact as the state’s Department of Gaming Public Information Officer Max Hartgraves noted the plan is to devise rules by June and give the operators a go-ahead to approved operators sometime in the fall.

When the lawmakers legalized sports betting in April, they incorporated an emergency clause to their measure allowing the gaming department to wrap up the regulatory and application process speedily.

Once the concerned department has completed finalizing the rules related to sports betting licenses in Arizona, it will post them online allowing public comment. By tradition, the pubic comment period is 30 days. Then, the gaming department will scrutinize and make necessary changes to the proposed rules before finalizing them.

Though the entire procedure takes roughly six months, Indiana and Iowa accomplished the regulatory framework in three months in 2019.

Sen. T.J. Shope and Rep. Jeff Weninger, co-sponsors of the bill, had eyed 2021 NFL as a launch goal. But official launch date has not been given yet.

How Will Arizona Sports Betting Look After Deal?

The expanded gaming deal struck between the state and tribes will allow tribes to include certain table games in the establishments. The agreement- under HB 2772- provides 20 sports betting licenses (online and retail) in the Grand Canyon State. Ten are reserved for professional sports organizations in Arizona, while the other ten to be divided among tribes.

Licenses include both retail and mobile sports betting licenses. A tribe with multiple establishments can operate retail sportsbooks under one license.

There are also ten retail-only sports betting licenses for horse tracks and OTBs.

Operators Queueing Up for Arizona Sports Betting

FanDuel and DraftKings were the first to announced their market-access agreements. The Boston-based DraftKings struck a deal with TPC Scottsdale, while the New York-based FanDuel partnered with the Phoenix Suns.

On May 6, Caesars Entertainment announced a partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Also, Barstool Sportsbook and WynnBET already have access via NASCAR partnerships. BetMGM and theScore have also hinted to come to claim their share of Arizona sports betting soon.

Arizona, the 14th biggest state by population, is expected to generate $154.4 million in annual taxable sports betting revenue in the coming years.

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