US CongressPASPA and Sports Betting

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was introduced and passed by the US Congress in 1992. “PASPA” – as it would be come to be known as – would affect the history behind legal sports betting in this country for the better.

Initially, this act was designed to protect professional and amateur athletes; however, a small section of PASPA also dealt with sports betting in the United States. This would eventually be brought to the negotiating table as it helped springboard the talk of legal sports wagering in the USA – at least at a state level – and NOT at a federal level. 

The sports betting section of PASPA outlawed the form of gambling in the United States. Some areas of the country, like Nevada, were allowed to continue offering sports betting. Although, this was rare throughout the nation.

New Jersey’s Fight Against PASPA

PASPA caused a lot of offshore sports betting to occur. People were still betting on sports, but it was just an unregulated activity. This happened for nearly 20 years before New Jersey challenged PASPA in 2009. The New Jersey legislature wanted to legalize sports betting in the state, but professional sports leagues continued to utilize PASPA as their defense.

Professional sports league executives did not want sports betting because they believed they would be excluded from the financial gain. This is not the case in many states in the present sports betting economy.

New Jersey filed a lawsuit in March of 2009 claiming that PASPA discriminated against the 46 states that were not allowed to offer legal sports betting in the United States. The case was dismissed, but New Jersey continued to press forward.

In 2012, the New Jersey legislature passed a law to authorize legal sports betting at regulated sportsbooks in the state. The NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB came together to fight the law arguing that it violated PASPA.

The legal battles proceeded for years, and it developed into a series of lawsuits filed by New Jersey and the leagues. NJ wanted sports betting, and the leagues did not want it implemented throughout the United States.

The case ended up being appealed to the Supreme Court. The court agreed to hear oral arguments for the case in 2017. After hearing oral arguments, the Supreme Court ruled in May of 2018 in a 6-3 decision that PASPA was unconstitutional. This ruling gave states the right to legalize sports betting within their respective borders.

Arizona Sports Betting Finally Passes

Arizona passed sports betting in April of 2021 after years of legal battles. The tribal nations were delaying the process, but a new tribal compact created an easy road for sports wagering.

Retail and mobile wagering has since been launched and has been flourishing in the Valley, with sportsbooks like Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings taking up a lion’s share of the app market today.

The number of sportsbooks operating in the state – both online and in-person – has grown significantly, and there doesn’t appear to be any slowing down.

Caesars Sportsbook in Arizona 

Caesars is one of the oldest names in the gaming industry, so it was no surprise that it would get involved in sports betting. The company acquired William Hill for $4 billion in 2021 to help its efforts in the segment and has continued to introduce new sportsbooks across the US.

Caesars Sportsbook is teamed up with the Arizona Diamondbacks of MLB and offers a physical sportsbook at Chase Field. The gaming giant also has an agreement with MLB to be the league’s authorized gaming operator. In addition to the physical sportsbook, Caesars will operate a sports bar and broadcast studio at Chase Field.

Caesars has one of the larger signup bonuses for new users in Arizona. It offers a $5,000 risk-free bet which will reimburse the bet amount (up to $5,000) if it loses. The sportsbook also offers several ongoing promotions and odds boosts for all major sports.

BetMGM in Arizona

BetMGM has quickly risen to become one of the top sportsbooks in the country. It is backed by MGM Resorts International and Entain and offers a very user-friendly platform.

BetMGM is partnered with the Arizona Cardinals and Gila River Hotels & Casinos and will open physical sportsbooks at the three Gila River Hotels & Casinos locations. Another physical BetMGM sportsbook is planned for State Farm Stadium and will likely open before the 2022 NFL season.

BetMGM Arizona offers a $1,000 risk-free bet for new users. If you place any bet up to $1,000 as a first bet and lose, BetMGM will refund the money to your account.

DraftKings in Arizona

Like FanDuel, DraftKings started with daily fantasy sports (DFS) but rapidly embraced sports betting and never looked back. It offers an outstanding user interface and competitive odds, boosts, and promotions.

DraftKings is in a partnership with TPC Scottsdale, one of the best courses on the PGA Tour, and will have a physical sportsbook at the course. That was made possible through an existing partnership with the PGA Tour.

DraftKings offers a new user signup bonus of up to $1,050. This includes a $50 free bet (no deposit required) and a 20% deposit match, up to $1,000. However, DraftKings takes things to another level and, if you make a $5,000 deposit, you will receive an additional $1,000 to be used for placing bets.

FanDuel in Arizona

FanDuel is one of the most successful sportsbooks in the US and has a substantial footprint across the country. Its DFS platform was recognized as the leading alternative. FanDuel is partnered with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and will operate a physical sportsbook at the Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix, AZ.

FanDuel Arizona gives new users a $200 in FREE BETS when they register and bet just $5! Bonus bets can be cashed in for real money even after your initial deposit runs dry. FanDuel also runs a FanDuel casino, where it offers a similar signup bonus.

Unibet in Arizona

Unibet was a leader in the European sports betting market before migrating to the US. A subsidiary of Kindred Gaming, it gained access to Arizona when Kindred partnered with the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. The online sportsbook brings a lot of Unibet’s experience in the European market, enhancing it for US sports bettors.

Unibet offers a special new-user bonus that includes a risk-free bet worth up to $600. As with all risk-free offers, the returned funds, should the bet lose, cannot be cashed out but can be reused to make other wagers.

BetRivers in Arizona

BetRivers began as SugarHouse Casino but rebranded in 2019. It has since gone nationwide and gives access to more sports from various countries and better payout options than most other sportsbooks. Rush Interactive, behind BetRivers, partnered with the Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, allowing for quick access to the new market.

BetRivers offers a competitive new-user bonus, but it has been created differently than those at most other sportsbooks. The sportsbook is giving a 100% deposit match of up to $250. Deposit $250, and BetRivers gives $250 in free money. It can’t be withdrawn, but it can turn into big winnings.