The Arizona Department of Gaming announced Wednesday a target date of Sept. 9, 2021, the first day of the NFL season, for the launch of Arizona sports betting program.

This comes one week after the U.S. Department of the Interior approved a gaming compact between Arizona and its Indian tribes. The approval of the compact came ahead of its deadline.

Arizona Sports Betting Rules Coming This Month

A draft of rules for event wagering and fantasy sports contests will also be published this month, according to the department. The public will have a chance to comment on the published rules between June 14 and 21.

Last week Arizona State Senator T.J. Shope expressed his optimism to Action Rush that the state’s sports betting launch would coincide with the start of the NFL season.

“That is definitely where we’re headed at this point. The Arizona Department of Gaming will now be issuing rules and such and hopefully, we’ll be in great shape for kickoff,” Shope told Action Rush.

Arizona Online Sports Betting in Time for the NFL Season

Arizona has made rapid progress on its sports betting program since the approval of its bill and signing into law. The approved Arizona online sports betting plan allows for as many as 20 licenses, split evenly between Arizona professional sport franchises and Native American tribes in the state who have signed the most recent tribal-state gaming compact. The bill allows Arizona’s professional sport franchises to run sportsbook at their facilities and partner with online sportsbook operators.

The state has already announced several partnerships between its professional sport franchises and established sportsbooks. Both FanDuel and DraftKings have already agreed to partnerships with in-state professional sports franchises to operate retail and online sportsbooks. DraftKings will expand its existing commercial relationship with the PGA Tour to bring retail and mobile sports betting to Arizona, pending regulatory approval. In addition to online sports betting, DraftKings announced plans to construct a retails sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale.

FanDuel announced a partnership with the Phoenix Suns to build a luxury 6,300 square-foot in-arena sportsbook for the 2021-2022 NBA season. In addition to a full-service ticket window and self-service kiosks within the sportsbook, fans will be able to place bets throughout Phoenix Suns Arena on their mobile devices during game days and other hosted sporting events.

William Hill is also a safe bet to be an option for the state. Robert Miguel, chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, noted in a National Indian Gaming Association interview that the Ak-Chin Tribe will explore retail and online sports betting for its Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. Harrah’s is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which recently acquired William Hill.

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Robert Linnehan
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