Arizona Sports Betting Launches Today: What To Expect

Posted on September 9, 2021
Arizona sports betting
Posted By on September 9, 2021

Arizona sports betting launched Thursday, coinciding with the start of the NFL season.

Online sportsbooks in Arizona started accepting wagers at 12:01 a.m. PST, with some retail sportsbooks ready to open during the day. Arizona sports bettors can now place wagers at a wide array of sportsbooks, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys kicking off NFL betting Thursday night.

AZ sports betting is one of the fastest markets to launch. The state is a highly anticipated sports betting market, with the population growing quickly and a significant sports ecosystem already in place.

The how-to of sports betting in AZ

Arizona created a customer-friendly sports betting market by enabling remote registration and funding of wagering accounts.

That means bettors can download and register with AZ sports betting apps from anywhere within the state.

They also can fund accounts without having to visit a physical casino. That means the entire process of creating an Arizona sports betting account can be completed while anywhere physically within state borders.

Big Arizona sports betting partnerships

Arizona sports betting has most of the major sportsbooks in the US sports betting landscape. The ADG awarded eight of the possible 10 sports betting licenses available to the state’s professional sports organizations.

The teams can also open retail sportsbooks at their stadiums, including two virtually across the street from each other in downtown Phoenix.

FanDuel will open its retail sportsbook at Footprint Center Thursday. Caesars will take bets at Chase Field while construction on its permanent space is finished.

Other retail sportsbooks will not be ready until next year, like the BetMGM retail location at State Farm Stadium.

Biggest names partnered with AZ sports organizations

The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also received a license, granting BetRivers access to the state.

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes were also granted a license, but the team has not announced its plans.

“We are fortunate to have an ownership group with tremendous expertise in sports gaming and we look forward to launching our operations this season,” a Coyotes spokesperson wrote to LSR Wednesday. “We are in the process of finalizing details regarding our sportsbook operator and will provide more information presently.”

AZ tribal sports betting partnerships

The ADG awarded all 10 licenses available to the state’s tribes. The licenses allow the tribes to offer online sports betting, and each tribal casino can operate a retail sportsbook.

There were 16 applicants for the 10 available licenses.

Tribal sportsbook partnerships:

Two tribes receiving licenses did not announce sportsbook partners:

  • Navajo Nation
  • Tohono O’odham Nation

Three known sports betting partners did not receive licenses:

Quick path to Arizona sports betting launch

Along with the enacting sports betting legislation, HB 2772, Gov. Doug Ducey also signed updated tribal compacts expanding gaming in Arizona in April. Those amended compacts were the result of five years of negotiations with many of the state’s 22 tribes.

The legislation establishes 20 sports betting licenses, including 10 for the state’s professional sports organizations and 10 for the state’s tribes. The Arizona Department of Gaming awarded 18 of those licenses Aug. 27. Those licenses allow for online AZ sports betting.

The legislation also legalized daily fantasy sports, which launched Aug. 28. That day, AZ sports bettors can also download and register on sports betting apps.

AZ lawsuit hurdle cleared

On Labor Day, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith denied the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe’s request for an injunction to stop AZ sports betting. The tribe claimed the expansion of gaming through HB 2772 breached the state constitution.

Smith issued his ruling Monday night, explaining the tribe failed to back up its claims with sufficient arguments. The judge expects the tribe to appeal the decision but it did not do so yet.

In a notice of intent to intervene in the case, Tonto Apache Tribe Chairman Calvin Johnson said the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe’s strategy was always to “simply sue the state” if it did not like the amended compacts.

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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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