What’s The Holdup? Arizona Sports Betting Revenue A Mystery

Written By Pat Evans on December 14, 2021
Arizona sports betting

As November sports betting revenue reports roll in, the gaming world is still waiting for any kind of Arizona sports betting revenue information.

AZ sports betting launched Sept. 9 after a speedy process to get off the ground by the first weekend of NFL betting. The state met the launch goal, but the fruits of that launch are still unknown.

The Arizona Department of Gaming missed its Nov. 29 release date and there is no indication when the report will be out. The October sports betting revenue report is supposed to be released Dec. 27, according to a timeline sent out by the ADG earlier this fall.

“It comes down to the fact that this is a new industry for the state,” ADG Spokesperson Maxwell Hartgraves wrote in an email to LSR this week. “Not only for us, but for operators as well. That said, we want to ensure all is good to go so there are not any issues down the line.”

Fellow sports betting launch reports out quickly

South Dakota sports betting and Wyoming sports betting both also launched in September. Both states have released their revenue reports for that month — and October.

Wyoming recorded $6.2 million in mobile bets during its first month, while retail sportsbooks at casinos in Deadwood, SD handled $443,365.

Connecticut regulators released the October report for CT sports betting, the month which it launched, last week. The state’s sportsbooks took $54.1 million in bets during the first month.

Big state, no problem

While the other states that launched this fall are generally smaller than Arizona, other significant markets filed their reports fairly quickly.

After mobile launches in late January 2021, both Michigan and Virginia regulators released their initial revenue reports in February and March. Michigan surpassed $150 million in January, but it technically was not the first month since retail sports betting began in March 2020.

Virginia had only issued lottery reports until that point. Arizona reports on horse racing, tribal gaming and daily fantasy sports.

Highly anticipated Arizona numbers

Prior to the Arizona launch, the market generated high expectations with its large growing metropolis of Phoenix, complete with most major sports teams and events.

Early data supported the expectations, with GeoComply reporting the state recorded 10% of legal US sports betting transactions through the first week of the NFL season. GeoComply data for the first four weeks of the season backed up its initial report.

Even without seeing the report, it is not crazy to assume Arizona shattered the handle record for sports betting action in a launch month. The standing record is Tennessee sport betting’s November 2020 launch, which posted $131.4 million in bets.

Arizona sports betting figures growing?

October will be the first full month of sports betting figures for Arizona, whenever that report comes out. If it follows a national trend, the maturing market will quickly set a new record, like many of the other legal US sports betting jurisdictions.

Early returns, like those from Iowa sports betting and Indiana sports betting, suggest November will continue the rising handle figures.

Additionally, several new sportsbooks debuted in Arizona since the September launch. BetRivers was approved as the ninth AZ sportsbook, while Superbook received approval from the ADG this month.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-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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