Arizona Sports Betting Access Filling Up Fast After TwinSpires Deal

Posted on July 30, 2021
Posted By on July 30, 2021

TwinSpires is the latest sportsbook to find a partner for Arizona sports betting.

On Friday, the company announced its partnership with the Tonto Apache Tribe, which owns and operates the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino, approximately an hour and a half northeast of Phoenix. The partnership includes online and retail sportsbook access to Arizona sports betting for the Churchill Downs-owned TwinSpires.

“The team behind the most exciting two minutes in sports is thrilled to partner with the Tonto Apache Tribe and pursue offering our leading sportsbook product and promotions to sports fans throughout Arizona,“ TwinSpires President Ian Williams said in a release.

Sports betting in Arizona is on track to launch Sept. 9. The Arizona Department of Gaming has not yet awarded the state’s 20 licenses, which include 10 for the state’s professional sports teams and 10 for the state’s gaming tribes.

TwinSpires grows its footprint

If the partners receive a license, Arizona would be the seventh state for TwinSpires.

The brand is in: 

Churchill Downs also operates BetAmerica in New Jersey. That brand is expected to transition to TwinSpires later this year.

Arizona sports betting moving quickly

On July 26, the rules for sports betting in Arizona became official and a two-week application period for operators started.

Gov. Doug Ducey completed a stop-and-go legislative process for sports betting with his signature on April 15. The US Department of the Interior approved an amended tribal compact in May.

Since then, the ADG has worked quickly to launch by its own deadline of Sept. 9.

Tweaks to regulations minimal

During the process, the ADG released multiple drafts of regulations and offered stakeholders several opportunities to express their concerns and opinions. Aside from minor language tweaks and clarifications, comments were minimal.

There were four areas the ADG worked closely with stakeholders to establish:

  • Number of skins
  • License fee
  • License allocation
  • Tax rate

The initial license fee is $850,000, while the state will levy an 8% tax on retail wagers and a 10% tax on mobile wagers. A set of guidelines were created to allocate licenses if there are more qualified applicants than licenses available.

A licensee can have one sports betting system, but two platforms. 

AZ sports betting partners ready

The TwinSpires deal with the Tonto Apache Tribe is the ninth partnership in Arizona.

The other deals in place so far are: 

  • Bally’s and the Phoenix Mercury
  • Barstool Sportsbook and the Phoenix Raceway
  • Caesars and the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • DraftKings and TPC Scottsdale/PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open
  • FanDuel and the Phoenix Suns
  • Kindred Group and the Quechan Tribe
  • PointsBet and the Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • WynnBet and 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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