PointsBet announced Tuesday its plans to have a market access deal for Arizona sports betting through a partnership with Cliff Castle Casino Hotel. The 10-year deal will allow the Australian-based operator to have online sports betting in the recently legalized Arizona sports betting, which includes the renegotiated tribal gaming compacts, essentially introducing sports betting through licenses issued to the state’s tribes and professional sports teams.
Cliff Castle Casino Hotel is owned by the Yavapai-Apache Nation, a federally recognized tribe.
The partnership comes months before the state plans to launch sports betting this fall.
What Will PointsBet Get Through the Deal?
Under the agreement, PointsBet will work directly with the Yavapai-Apache Nation in pursuit of a license to operate mobile sports betting in the Copper State. The Australian-based company will get first-skin access and will pay a fixed fee and a slice of net gaming revenue.
PointsBet will also help fund a branded retail book at the partnered casino’s hotel to be operated by the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
The online bookmaker is the seventh to have access to Arizona sports betting. Other market leaders – including, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, Bally’s, WynnBET, and Unibet – have already partnered with either sports teams or tribes to offer online sports betting when it will be available on Sept. 9, the day NFL 2021 will kick off this fall.
What to Expect from PointsBet in Arizona
PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken said in a statement the company – together with its partner – will deliver a “fast and differentiated sports betting product across each customer touchpoint.”
Aitken added that the group welcomes the opportunity to quickly introduce prospective sports bettors to the customer-focused PointsBet experience.
PointsBet will also make an annual donation to a public-interest fund created by the Yavapai-Apache Nation for the welfare of the youth of the gaming tribe.
Cliff Castle Casino General Manage Aaron Moss said the tribe and its sports betting partner are thrilled to initiate the process of offering event wagering in the Copper State. While hailing PointsBet for its experience and reputation, Moss said the reasons were good enough to make the Australian company a perfect fit in pursuit of an event wagering license.
Arizona Sports Betting to Launch on Sept. 9
Arizona sports betting has moved with a lightning pace from the legalization and the signing by the governor – both happened in April – to the tribal compact approval by the US Department of the Interior in late May.
The Arizona Department of Gaming wasted no time in drafting the rules for the state’s sports betting structure that allows for up to 20 sportsbooks to operate in the state, with professional sports franchises and tribal casinos eligible for 10 licenses each.
Draft rules set up an 8% tax rate on retail bets and 10% on mobile bets, in addition to an initial license fee of $850,000.
Before PointsBet, these six operators have already partnered with the local entities for Arizona sports betting.
- FanDuel through the Phoenix Suns Arena.
- DraftKings through the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale.
- Caesars with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Bally’s with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
- WynnBET with San Carlos Apache Tribe.
- Unibet and the Quechan Tribe.
BetMGM Only Major Operator Without A Partner
While most of the leading operators have concluded partnerships for Arizona sports betting, BetMGM is the only major operator without any announced market access deal. The Copper State’s only professional sports leagues that have yet to announce partners are NFL Cardinals and NHL Coyotes.
While PointsBet is the fourth sportsbook operator to forge an alliance with a tribe. The other three operators with tribal partnerships include Caesars, Kindred, and WynnBET.
However, the operators that have inked deals with tribes will remain uncertain until their partnering tribes will actually get a license as there are more gaming tribes than the prescribed licenses – 10 – for the tribes.
The state regulators are currently working on the rules for the law, which allows for 10 retail and statewide mobile event wagering operator licenses for pro sports franchises and 10 for tribes. The latest round of draft rules describes how those licenses will be allocated.