Arizona Sports Betting Receives Official Target Launch Date

Posted on June 2, 2021
Arizona sports betting
Posted By on June 2, 2021

Arizona sports betting is on track to launch in time for the NFL season.

The Arizona Department of Gaming announced a target launch date of September 9 for sports betting in Arizona to go live. The date coincides with the official kickoff of the 2021 NFL season.

Additionally, the department announced rules for the industry will be available for “public inspection and comment” on June 14. Retail and mobile AZ sports betting are included for both tribal casinos and the state’s professional sports organizations.

Arizona stays on track

The launch date to coincide with the massive NFL betting handle was a stated goal by Arizona legislators. The legislation passed through both chambers with an emergency clause to expedite the rules and regulation development process.

Once Gov. Doug Ducey signed the legislation and a new tribal compact on April 15, the ball was rolling. The Department of Gaming started to work on rules and regulations immediately and outlined the express timeline.

The US Department of the Interior also acted quicker than expected, with the Federal Register publishing approval of the compact on May 24.

AZ sports betting industry develops

There are 20 licenses in Arizona, including 10 each for tribal casinos and the state’s professional sports organizations. Tribes can operate multiple retail sportsbooks under the same license if they own multiple casinos.

Legislators also legalized daily fantasy sports. Arizona was one of the last states without DFS rules.

Arizona could generate more than $154 million in annual taxable sports betting revenue once the market matures, according to a legislative fiscal note. The growing state is likely to generate plenty of focus from sportsbook operators.

Sportsbook partners emerging

DraftKings partnered with TPC Scottsdale even before Ducey signed the legislation. The course hosts the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, played the same weekend as the Super Bowl. A sportsbook at the course is expected in time for the 2023 Super Bowl, which is scheduled for Glendale.

FanDuel and the Phoenix Suns announced a partnership the same day as Ducey’s signature. Virtually across the street from Phoenix Suns Arena, Caesars Sportsbook will set up shop at Chase Field with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona is likely to see most major sportsbook operators. Executives from companies such as BetMGM and theScore have expressed interest in the market during recent investor calls.

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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.

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