Arizona online sports betting will have a historic new partner when it launches its program on Sept. 9.

The Phoenix Mercury and Bally’s Corporation announced a 15-year gaming agreement, the first gaming access deal for a professional women’s sports team. It provides Bally’s market access to its 15th state, according to a press release.

The Phoenix Mercury will officially apply for one of the 10 available sports betting licenses earmarked for Arizona professional sports franchises. Upon receiving a license, Bally’s will host and manage the Mercury’s online sports betting program and will construct a brick-and-mortar sportsbook in the vicinity of the Phoenix Suns arena.

“We are pleased to enter into such a complimentary partnership that allows us to both support the advancement of women’s sports in a meaningful way and execute on our business objectives by entering into another attractive sports betting market in Arizona. We have an excellent partner in the Phoenix Mercury that continues to pave the way for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in women’s sports, and we look forward to working with them to create increased awareness of the value that women’s professional sports teams and players bring to the table,” Adi Dhandhania, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Interactive, Bally’s Corporation, told Action Rush.

The Mercury join the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and TPC Scottsdale as state organizations who have announced partnerships with sportsbook operators. The Diamondbacks have a partnership with Caesars to launch mobile sports betting and build a sportsbook, the Suns have a partnership with FanDuel to launch online sports betting and build a sportsbook in their arena and TPC Scottsdale has a partnership with DraftKings.

The Arizona Department of Gaming recently confirmed the Arizona online sports betting launch is on target for its Sept. 9 start date. At a recent ADG public meeting, representatives of several Arizona sports franchises spoke out in favor of each organization receiving only one online skin per license.

Jason Rowley, CEO and President of the Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns, said in a press release the deal will “accelerate the momentum surrounding women’s sports” and deliver increased fan engagement.

“We are very excited to partner with Bally’s on this enormous step forward in the advancement of women’s sports. This agreement represents so much more than a team sponsorship; it is a reflection of our shared values and commitment to investing in diversity, equity and inclusion. We could not think of a better way to celebrate the Mercury’s 25th year in the WNBA, and what many consider to be the model franchise,” Rowley said in the press release.

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Robert Linnehan
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