More Applicants Than Licenses For Hot Arizona Sports Betting Market

Posted on August 11, 2021
Arizona sports betting
Posted By on August 11, 2021

There are more applicants than licenses to go around for Arizona sports betting.

The Arizona Department of Gaming received 25 applications, according to a statement Wednesday. AZ sports betting rules established 20 licenses, including 10 for sports organizations and 10 for gaming tribes.

The ADG closed the initial two-week application period Monday to stay on track for a Sept. 9 launch. During the period, the department said it received applications from 10 sports teams and organizations, and 15 tribes.

ADG guidelines set to allocate sports betting licenses

On Tuesday, the ADG started a five-day period to determine which applicants are qualified. It plans to notify those applicants Monday.

During the rule-making process, the ADG established a set of guidelines to determine how to award licenses if there are too many qualified applicants. An eight-day period to determine which applicants receive licenses would start next Tuesday.

With 15 tribal applicants, it appears the ADG will need those guidelines. Specific details of AZ sportsbook applicants will not be released, according to the ADG.

Crowded sports betting field emerging in Arizona

Since Gov. Doug Ducey signed the sports betting legislation and new tribal compacts in April, sportsbook operator partnerships with sports organizations and tribes have emerged. Still, there are more applicants than announced partnerships at this time.

Announced partnerships:

Partnership arrangements do not guarantee approved AZ sports betting licenses.

The NHL‘s Arizona Coyotes have not announced a partner. During stakeholder meetings, the USL‘s Phoenix Rising FC expressed interest in a license.

On the tribal side, there are 16 tribes that operate 24 casinos in the state.

Why is Arizona so popular?

Arizona is primed to be a thriving sports betting market with a growing population and a large metropolis in Phoenix. The city is home to most professional sports leagues with the potential to keep adding to the landscape.

Phoenix also regularly hosts major sporting events, including the Super Bowl in 2023. The state is also home to two Pac-12 universities with rabid bases: Arizona and Arizona State.

There also previously was no daily fantasy sports to help some operators build databases. That could create more opportunity for smaller and less-established operators in the US market.

DFS was included in this year’s legislation and is set to launch Aug. 28.

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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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