Bally’s, Phoenix Mercury Pair Up For Arizona Sports Betting

Posted on June 30, 2021
Posted By on June 30, 2021

Two partners new to sports betting are coming together prior to the Arizona launch.

With the planned Sept. 9 launch of Arizona sports betting, Bally’s Corp. and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury announced a partnership for market access Wednesday.

The access partnership is the first for a women’s sports team, according to the release. While the deal gives Bally’s access to its 15th state, Bally Bet just recently launched in its first state, Colorado.

“Maintaining and implementing a strong diversity, equity and inclusion program is a cornerstone of Bally’s operational values, and we look forward to promoting those values as part of our sponsorship with the Phoenix Mercury and hope that other major corporations follow in our footsteps,” Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim said in a release.

“We are also excited about the prospect of providing sports fans in Arizona with access to our first-in-class online sports betting platform, and enhancing the way that they engage with their favorite sports pastimes.”

Details of latest Arizona sports betting access deal

Along with market access, Bally’s will be the Mercury’s exclusive sports betting partner for the next 15 years.

“Bally’s and the Phoenix Mercury strongly believe that a groundbreaking partnership of this magnitude accelerates the momentum surrounding women’s sports, creates a bigger platform for the Mercury, while delivering fan engagement on an unprecedented scale in women’s sports,” Mercury President and CEO Jason Rowley said.

The Mercury are in line for one of Arizona’s 10 licenses designated for professional sports organizations.

Under the deal, Bally’s will manage an online sportsbook as well as a retail sportsbook near Phoenix Suns Arena, where the Mercury play. Bally’s market presence already includes Bally Sports Arizona, the regional sports network naming rights the company acquired in November 2020.

Crowded downtown sports betting district

Just after Gov. Doug Ducey signed sports betting legislation into law in April, the Phoenix Suns announced a partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook. The Suns and Mercury share an owner, so there was no guarantee both would seek AZ sports betting partners.

FanDuel will operate a retail sportsbook at Phoenix Suns Arena.

A stone’s throw away is Chase Field, where Caesars Sportsbook partnered with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A sportsbook is planned for the ballpark.

Filling up a market

Along with the three aforementioned partnerships, DraftKings was the first sportsbook to find an Arizona dance partner. The popular sportsbook paired off with the PGA Tour‘s Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

There are 10 licenses allocated to the sports teams and venues in Arizona, which also includes:

  • Phoenix International Raceway
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Arizona Coyotes

There are also 10 licenses available to the state’s 22 gaming tribes, none of which have announced partners. The Arizona Department of Gaming is working on the rules, including how many skins each license receives.

Even with one skin apiece, it is likely most major sportsbooks will be in the market. Executives from both BetMGM and theScore both mentioned the market as bright spots in potential market expansion during recent earnings reports.

Churchill Downs Inc. and Rush Street Interactive executives submitted written comments during the ADG’s rules draft comment period.

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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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