Good news Arizona gamblers, an Arizona online sports betting plan may be in place by the fall just in time for the NFL season if all goes right.

A sports betting bill was approved by the Arizona State Senate and will be sent to Gov. Doug Ducey to be written into law. An amendment was approved to mirror HB 2772 to SB 1797, a requirement to pass the bill out of the House, and then passed by a vote of 23-6. The bill allows for in-person and online sports betting, as well as the legalization of daily fantasy sports wagering in the state. Arizona is currently one of six states in the country without legalized daily fantasy sports wagering.

Because the bill was passed by a greater than 2:1 margin it will receive “emergency authorization” and will expedite the process. It now goes to Gov. Ducey, who has long championed the bill, who could sign it into law within the week.

Several last-minute amendments to the bill, including one which would have restricted wagers on in-state college programs, were rejected by House members.

“Arizona’s been a sporting destination for decades and now we can add event wagering to the mix when people are in town for Spring Training,” the bill’s primary sponsor State Sen. T.J. Shope’s (R-Coolidge) told Action Rush.

 

Native American Tribes Approve Arizona Online Sports Betting

State Senator Victoria Steel (D-9) applauded the approval of the sports bill and lauded the deal for the state and its Native American tribes. The agreement will continue to see Arizona experience the huge financial benefits from tribal gaming. To date, she said, $1.5 billion in tribal contributions have been made to the state since the original Arizona gambling compacts were signed.

The Arizona online sports betting plan allows for event wagering and wagering on daily fantasy sports. As many as 20 licenses are available, 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 will allow Arizona’s professional sport franchises to run sportsbook at their facilities and partner with online sportsbook operators.

The Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Raceway and TPC Scottsdale could all open retail sportsbook in their facilities under the bill and/or partner with an online sportsbook providers. Currently, the only open in-facility sportsbook for one of the four major U.S. sports is Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena, home to the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.

The bill’s passage was largely due in part to it being stripped of a controversial Historic Horse Racing bill that would have potentially invalidated a 2002 gaming agreement with state Indian Tribes.

Shope recently helped push the bill forward with the help of Phoenix Coyote’s great Shane Doan, who attended a State Senate session on April 7.

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Robert Linnehan
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