Second Round Of Comments Roll In For Arizona Sports Betting Rules

Posted on July 7, 2021 - Last Updated on July 8, 2021
Posted By on July 7, 2021
Last Updated on July 8, 2021

The Arizona Department of Gaming took in public comments for its second draft of rules for AZ sports betting Wednesday. 

The comments fielded came from a variety of Arizona sports betting stakeholders, ranging from professional sports teams to sportsbook operators. The ADG will accept written comments until 11:59 p.m. PDT Wednesday night. 

ADG Director Ted Vogt said a refined draft of rules, and proposal for license allocation, will follow “shortly thereafter.” The ADG still plans to launch sports betting by September 9.

New AZ sports betting pieces 

The second draft of rules included proposed license fees and tax fees.

Those proposals came following the first set of rules which did not include them as the ADG worked through the fees, skin numbers and how they will allocate licenses.

There still is little indication how the ADG will allocate licenses to the state’s tribes, and the other topics received plenty of feedback. Comments for the first draft closed in June.

Fees receive feedback

Multiple stakeholders asked how the fees will be structured and when they will owe the fees. 

The proposed fees are as follows:  

  • $100,000 application fee
  • $750,000 license fee
  • $150,000 annual renewal fee

The tax structure: 

  • 8% on retail wagers
  • 10% on mobile wagers

Vogt explained the tax structure differences as a combination of looking at the tribal compact, other states and the overhead of retail.

What is a sports betting skin?

In the latest round of Arizona sports betting rules, the ADG “deliberately” eliminated the word skin. Multiple stakeholders, largely the professional teams, expressed concerns there could be more than one skin per license holder.

In the language, there can be one sports wagering system, and up to two platforms. The language reads:

“‘Event Wagering Platform’ means the internet interface to a single event wagering system, which is designed to accept mobile event wagers through a website or a mobile application.”

Arizona Coyotes representative Andrew Diss asked if that meant they could have “Coyotes Bet” for the NHL team and “RoadRunners Bet” for their wholly-owned American Hockey League affiliate. That comment was met with, “That’s potentially something you could do.”

Other Arizona sports betting rules comments

Multiple stakeholders asked for more specific language around official league data, particularly around what value constitutes “commercially reasonable.”

DraftKings Senior Corporate Counsel Kevin Cochran raised concerns around accounting procedures, suggesting as proposed the requirements appear to be based on antiquated Nevada regulations and involves “a significant amount of manual accounting work.”

A representative from Penn National Gaming said the definition for marketing affiliate is too broad. 

FanDuel Director of Government Affairs Andrew Winchell echoed both concerns. He also expressed concerns around a requirement for a geofence log of failed bet attempts.

Launch appears set for fall

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill approving sports betting in April to go along with a new tribal compact between the state and its gaming tribes. Multiple efforts failed in the past.

The legislation allocates 20 licenses, split between the professional sports teams and the state’s tribes. There are more than 10 gaming tribes, which is why many are eager to know how the ADG will allocate those.

As the ADG works toward its September 9 launch goal, sports betting partners continue to align for market access. Last week, Bally’s partnered with the Phoenix Mercury, while WynnBET joined up with the San Carlos Apache Tribe. 

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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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