First NFL Stadium Sportsbook To Arrive In AZ Sports Betting Market

Posted on August 9, 2021
AZ sports betting
Posted By on August 9, 2021

BetMGM has its AZ sports betting partners and they come with a super weekend on the horizon.

On Monday, BetMGM announced it will enter the Arizona sports betting market through partnerships with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and Gila River Hotels & Casinos. The partners plan to open a sportsbook at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, which would be a first for an NFL stadium.

The Cardinals already have an established relationship with Gila River Hotels & Casinos, owned by the Gila River Indian Community:

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build upon our long-standing relationship with Gila River and launch a new one with BetMGM,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a release. “They are best-in-class partners whose excellence and expertise in this emerging space will provide a new and innovative way to engage and interact with our fans.”

Sports betting in Arizona is expected to launch Sept. 9.

Unique partnership in AZ sports betting

The sports betting legislation in Arizona established 20 full mobile and retail licenses. That includes 10 for the state’s professional sports teams and venues, and 10 for the state’s gaming tribes. Amended compacts between the state and tribes also allow for retail sportsbooks at each tribal casino in the state.

In addition to the sportsbook at State Farm Stadium, BetMGM plans to open retail sportsbooks at all Gila River Hotels & Casinos, likely near the start of NFL betting season.

“Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals have an everlasting partnership, offering guests exclusive experiences and remarkable rewards,” Gila River Hotels & Casino CEO Kenneth Manuel said in the release. “There is no doubt in my mind these three industry-leading brands unifying will deliver the ultimate experience in Arizona sports betting, solidifying Gila River Hotels & Casinos as Arizona’s Sports HQ.”

Big partner for Super Bowl LVII betting

The partners plan for the State Farm Stadium sportsbook to open prior to the 2022 NFL season.

That puts it in a prime position to benefit from Super Bowl LVII, which State Farm Stadium will host in February 2023.

The stadium also regularly hosts college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff.

More retail sportsbooks at stadiums

Arizona joins markets like Illinois and Washington, D.C., where teams and their sports betting partners can build sportsbooks at the sports venues. In Washington, BetMGM plans to open a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park this year.

Other sports venue sportsbooks planned for AZ sports betting include:

AZ Sports betting in final stretch

The Arizona Department of Gaming finalized sports betting rules July 26, the same day the ADG began accepting license applications.

The application period closes Monday, with the ADG planning to announce qualified applicants Aug. 16. If there are more than 20 qualified applicants for licenses, the ADG will evaluate applicants and award the licenses Aug. 27.

The timeline puts Arizona sports betting on track for the planned Sept. 9 launch.

Quickly filling market

With a full roster of sports teams and events and a growing population, Arizona is likely to be a vibrant sports betting market.

Sportsbook operators are positioning themselves for a piece of the action. In addition to BetMGM’s partnerships, other announced deals include:

  • Bally’s Corp. with the Phoenix Mercury
  • Kindred Group with the Quechan Tribe
  • PointsBet with the Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • TwinSpires with the Tonto Apache Tribe
  • WynnBet with the San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • Barstool with Phoenix Raceway
  • Caesars with the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • FanDuel with the Phoenix Suns
  • DraftKings with the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open
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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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