Arizona Sports Betting Law Change Sought To Benefit Coyotes Move

Written By Pat Evans on April 6, 2022
Arizona sports betting

As the Arizona sports betting market matures, the AZ Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a bill last week to change governing law.

The bill would drop the AZ sports betting license capacity requirement for professional sports venues from 10,000 to 5,000.

The change is sought because the Arizona Coyotes are leaving an arena in Glendale and will play at a new 5,000-seat Arizona State University venue while the organization builds a new complex in Tempe.

The original AZ sports betting legislation allows sports teams the ability to operate retail sportsbooks and online sports betting. The organization does not plan to open a retail sportsbook at the ASU arena, according to Andrew Diss, director of government affairs for the Meruelo Group, who testified for the Coyotes during the hearing last week. SaharaBets took $63,805 in bets in January.

Oppositions to sports betting license changes

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association spoke against the change, which comes less than a year after Gov. Doug Ducey and the tribes signed new compacts solidifying the legalization of sports betting. The bill would not alter the compact, according to legislative staff.

Despite the opposition, many of the committee members saw the action as supporting a temporary move and a positive development for ASU. The Coyotes expect to spend up to $40 million to help ASU improve the arena.

“To see this opposition from the tribe is really upsetting because this does not negatively affect the tribes one iota,” Sen. Sonny Borrelli said during the hearing. “It’s moving from one location to the other, and it’s temporary.’’

A bill from Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales that would increase tribal licenses from 10 to 22 did not move this session.

New record for AZ sports betting numbers

As operators continued to go online in January, Arizona sports betting hit new heights.

On Friday, the Arizona Department of Gaming reported a record-breaking AZ sports betting handle of $563.7 million in January. The total is a 12.9% increase compared to December’s $499.2 million.

“With over half a billion dollars wagered in January, it is clear that Arizona has become a top ten event wagering market nationally,” ADG Director Ted Vogt said in a release.

In January, the Coyotes debuted the state’s 12th sportsbook, SaharaBets. By the end of February, all 18 operators licensed prior to September‘s market launch were live.

Arizona sports betting revenue stays steady

Sportsbooks generated $40.5 million in gross revenue in January, a 7.2% hold. The gross revenue is the second-most ever, trailing November‘s $51.4 million.

Those sportsbooks gave out $20.9 million in promos, leading to a $19.6 million taxable revenue.

The state collected nearly $2 million in taxes.

DraftKings leads the way in Arizona

More than 99% of the bets in Arizona were mobile. DraftKings took $173.1 million in bets, while FanDuel handled $149.9 million in online wagers.

BetMGM was third in the state, taking $120 million in bets.

FanDuel, which also took $3.9 million in retail bets, led operators with $11.9 million in revenue. DraftKings generated $11.5 million in gross revenue.

BrandHandleGross RevenueHoldPromo DeductionsOnline Market Share
DraftKings$173.1 million$11.5 million6.6%$4.8 million31.0%
FanDuel$153.9 million$11.9 million7.8%$4.0 million26.1%
BetMGM$120.0 million$10.7 million8.9%$8.6 million21.5%
Caesars$72.4 million$3.7 million5.1%$2.0 million13.0%
Barstool$21.4 million$822,1953.8%$479,9783.8%
WynnBet$12.8 million$944,9137.4%$456,4162.3%
BetRivers$4.8 million$84,9301.76%$84,930<1%
TwinSpires$2.1 million$220,62310.3%$220,623<1%
SuperBook$1.0 million$76,4547.5%$76,453<1%
Unibet$529,019$61,67711.7%$34,635<1%
Fubo$453,211$62,89413.8%$62,893<1%
SaharaBets$62,805-------<1%
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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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