Arizona Set To Reopen Sports Betting License Application Process

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Arizona sports betting

For the second time since Arizona sports betting launched in 2021, operators will be able to apply for available licenses next month.

The Arizona Department of Gaming announced Tuesday it will open multiple licenses to hopeful applicants February 16. The Arizona sports betting license application period will close March 4.

Arizona sports betting went live in September 2021, with 18 of the 20 license slots occupied. Multiple operators have shuttered Arizona sportsbooks since launch, and a previous license application period opened in August 2023.

Licenses open for Arizona sports betting

In Arizona sports betting law, there are 20 licenses, including 10 each for professional sports organizations and the state’s tribes.

The application period opening is for one license connected to a tribe and “no less than one” for sports franchises. Since the last application period, TwinSpires shut down its Arizona operation, the last of its active online sports betting states.

There are 22 Arizona tribes, 16 of which have gaming operations. There are two licenses available connected to sports organizations.

Big name circling Arizona?

Arizona has a mix of major operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, as well as more local sportsbooks, like Desert Diamond and Sahara Bets. Desert Diamond has outperformed many national brands in the market, including BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook, before Penn Entertainment switched its brand to ESPN Bet late last year.

One recent industry entrant is absent in the state: Fanatics Sportsbook. Last year, Fanatics acquired PointsBet, which did not receive an initial Arizona license through its partnership with the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Through October 2023, Arizona operators have taken nearly $13 billion in wagers.

Sports licenses available in Arizona? 

Along with the four major professional sports teams in Arizona, NASCAR and the PGA Tour received licenses in 2021. The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, and their partners, also secured licenses.

Based on the Rattlers’s license, IFL teams Northern Arizona Wranglers and Tucson Sugar Skulls could apply for a license. The same goes for the United Soccer League’s Phoenix Rising, as it previously applied.

The USL’s level of play is a question, as it is below Major League Soccer. An ADG spokesperson previously told LSR the law specifies “baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, soccer and motorsports” at “the highest level.” 

Previous application period results

When the 2023 application period opened, there were two licenses connected to sports organizations open in Arizona. There was also an open partnership with a tribe, as Fubo Sportsbook shut down its operations.

The ADG awarded bet365 with the lone license allocated during the last process. Bet365 partnered with the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Fubo’s previous partner.

Since the previous application period, WynnBet announced it was pulling out of multiple states including Arizona, and is winding down its operation. Likewise, Unibet announced in November it was exiting the US sports betting market. The exit will be complete by Q2 this year, according to the company.

Operators active in Arizona sports betting

Bet365 has yet to launch in Arizona, according to the ADG. There are 16 operators taking wagers in Arizona as of January. Those operators are: