Compact Including Arizona Sports Betting Receives Federal Approval

Posted on May 24, 2021
Arizona sports betting
Posted By on May 24, 2021

Arizona sports betting passed another milestone Monday as the US Department of the Interior approved the state’s new tribal gaming compact.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed the compact and accompanying legislation April 15. The compact modernizes the Arizona gaming industry, and includes retail and online sports betting in AZ.

With Monday’s approval, a previously stated goal to launch AZ sports betting in time for the NFL season continues on track.

“Gaming creates thousands of jobs for Arizonans, it generates tax revenue that benefits key areas of our communities, and it draws visitors to our state,” said Ducey said in a statement. “The tribal-state gaming compact amendment, along with its associated legislation, was the culmination of a multi-year process and I was proud to work with all the stakeholders on this historic accomplishment.

Rush to Arizona sports betting

Legislators passed HB 2772 with an emergency clause to help speed the launch of sports betting in Arizona. The bill completed the compact, a reportedly lengthy process of negotiation between Ducey and the state’s gaming tribes.

Following Ducey’s approval, the Arizona Department of Gaming set an expedited timeline for launch. The department needs to set license fees, tax rates and types of wagers prior to launch.

“The department is already hard at work drafting rules and procedures to ensure the safety and security of the Arizona betting public as we look towards implementing event and fantasy sports wagering in the months ahead,” ADG Director Ted Vogt said in a release.

On April 16, the compacts were submitted to the Department of the Interior, which had 45 days to review and approve the documents. Monday’s publishing in the Federal Register officially enacts the compact.

NFL kickoff in sight

Sen. T.J. Shope and Rep. Jeff Weninger, co-sponsors of the Arizona sports betting legislation, set 2021 NFL betting as a launch goal.

A spokesperson from the Department of Gaming said to expect more information, such as rule drafts, to be announced in mid-June.

An official launch date has not yet been set.

Arizona sports betting layout

HB 2772 provides 20 sports betting licenses in Arizona. Ten of those licenses are for professional sports organizations in the state. The state’s tribes receive the other 10.

Licenses include both retail and online AZ sports betting. A tribe with multiple physical locations can operate retail sportsbooks under one license.

The legislation also legalizes daily fantasy sports.

Operators lining up for Arizona

DraftKings and FanDuel were the first operators to announce their market-access agreements. DraftKings partnered with TPC Scottsdale, host of the PGA Tour‘s Waste Management Phoenix Open. FanDuel saddled up with the Phoenix Suns.

Earlier this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced a deal with Caesars Sportsbook. That means there will be two sportsbooks within a two-block vicinity at Phoenix Suns Arena and Chase Field.

BetMGM and theScore executives hinted at Arizona expansion in recent investor presentations.

What’s at stake?

Already a top-15 state in population, Arizona is still growing. The state is anchored by a vibrant sports scene in the Phoenix area, home to all four major sports leagues. It is a regular stop for professional circuits like NASCAR and the PGA Tour.

The state is home to two Pac-12 universities. Phoenix could also attract future expansion or relocation franchises in growing leagues like MLS.

A legislative fiscal note estimated operators could generate $154.4 million in annual taxable sports betting revenue once the market matures.

Pat Evans Avatar
Written by
Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

View all posts by Pat Evans
Privacy Policy