Arizona State Senator T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) was bullish on the prospects of Arizona online sports betting and retail sports betting being launched and ready to go prior to the start of the upcoming NFL season.
The U.S. Department of the Interior approved Arizona’s gaming compact with 10 Indian tribes earlier this week.. The department approved the compact well ahead of its 45-day deadline, which puts the state and the tribes in an optimal position to launch its sports betting program before the NFL season begins in September.
Online and In-Person Sports Betting May Be Launched Before the NFL Season
Shope, a driving force behind Arizona’s approved sports betting bill, said both online sports betting and in-person sports betting will likely be available prior 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.
Shope continued and said he believed both online and in-person sports betting would be available prior to the start of the 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.
Several Online Partnerships Are Already Confirmed
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.