There should be another wave of states set to launch legal sports betting this Fall, and Arizona is moving to be a part of that group. A number of things still have to fall in place before sports betting is launched, but things have moved in the right direction, and quickly.
On April 15, Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2772 into law, along with signing a new gaming compact with Native American tribes. Those signatures effectively legalized sports betting in Arizona, but there was still work needed to be done.
After the compact was signed, it was then sent to the U.S. Department of Interior for review. Last week, the new gaming compact was officially approved, paving the way for the new industry to launch in Arizona.
Representative Jeff Weninger was the key sponsor behind HB 2772, and it included all of the necessary languages to allow sports betting in the state. His bill continued to gain more support as it made its way through the legislature, and it was aided by support from professional sports teams.
The Native American tribes will have a big advantage with Arizona sports betting as those groups control the casino gaming industry. Retail sports betting will be offered at these properties, but stadiums and arenas in the state will be able to offer betting as well.
Arizona could become one of the biggest markets in the United States as it is the 15th most popular state in the US. The state is also home to a number of popular professional teams that will help the industry get off to a fast start.
HB 2772 included an emergency clause, and that should help the industry get going much sooner than anticipated. This clause called for rush approval of sports betting licenses, and the goal is to offer betting prior to the 2021 NFL season.
Work Left For ADG
The quick decision by the U.S. Department of Interior left Arizona a bit unprepared, especially the Arizona Department of Gaming. There was hope that the first initial sports betting rules would be drafted prior to this decision, but that was not the case.
The ADG will soon release the first draft of rules, and then it will allow leaders in the industry to give feedback on the rules. This will last for a period of 60 days before the ADG will then look to make the rules official.
Comments from the general public will also be welcomed when the final rules are posted, and it could affect potential rule changes. Certain rules won’t be up for debate as they were already included in HB 2772.
There will be 20 sports betting licenses available, and most of them have already been spoken for, but applications will still need to be submitted. 10 of the licenses will go to the Native American tribes, and the other 10 will go to professional sports teams and venues.
It is expected that the biggest names in the US sports betting industry will seek a license in Arizona, and some have already started to form partnerships with professional teams.