The Arizona Department of Gaming took another round of comments for its recently published sports betting rules, hearing concerns from sportsbook industry and Arizona professional sports franchise representatives in a one-hour meeting.
The department closed its second comment session at 11:59 p.m. PST on Wednesday, July 7. The department will file another set of revised rules based off of the comments it received during the latest meetings.
Arizona Online Sports Betting Skins?
The biggest point of concern for the second meeting in a row was the potential number of mobile operating platforms for each license holder. Amilyn Pierce, Vice President, Government Affairs, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, again stressed her concerns that license holders could have up to two mobile operating platforms per license. Pierce has spoken out at each public hearing on the importance of limiting mobile platforms to just one per license holder.
“Our belief was the license would never allow more than one mobile platform. We’ll continue to raise concerns for that in our opinion that essentially just allows for two mobile licenses. Our concerns remain the same,” she said.
In the latest draft of event wagering rules, the word skin is specifically not used. Each event wagering operator is given an “event wagering platform” which is defined as such:
“Event Wagering Platform” means the internet interface to a single event wagering system, which is designed to accept mobile event wagers through a website or a mobile application.
Additionally, an event wagering system is defined as such:
“Event Wagering System” means the hardware, software, firmware, communications technology or other equipment to allow patrons to place event wagers, regardless of whether event wagers are offered at retail, to include kiosks, and/or over the internet on an event wagering platform.
Each event wagering operator is eligible for a second event wagering platform” that it must apply for by written request to the Arizona Department of Gaming. James Stipe of the ADG stressed that this second event wagering platform “is not a sublicense.”
Each event wagering platform, by law, would have to run on the same event wagering system, meaning the same hardware for each platform.
Andrew Diss, a representative for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, asked if the franchise could apply for a second event wagering platform for its AHL franchise, the Tucson Roadrunners.
“We have the Arizona Coyotes and we also have the Tucson Roadrunners in this state. My understanding, based off of your comments, is we’re limited to one system provider. But for our platform, let’s say we wanted to call one of our platforms Coyotes Bet and the second platform Roadrunners Bet. Is that what you envision with the way these regs are written?” he asked.
Stipe noted this was something the NHL franchise could potentially do.
Arizona Sports Betting License Fees and Taxes
The department also clarified the fees for potential license holders. They will be as follows:
- An application fee of $100,000.
- License fee of $750,000.
- A $150,000 annual renewal fee.
If awarded a license, the holder will have to pay $650,000. This payment, coupled with the $100,000 application fee, will cover the license fee of $750,000. Additionally, every 12 months the license holder will have to pay an $150,000 annual renewal fee.
Finally, the department discussed its tax structure for Arizona sports betting. Retail sports betting will be taxed at 8% while online sports betting will be taxed at 10%.