Arizona officially legalized sports betting in the state in early April and state lawmakers, tribal officials and professional sports franchise officials have made it clear that sports betting will be a priority moving forward.
The state has been all systems go since Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2772 and the amended Tribal-State Gaming Compacts into law in April, but several questions remain as to how the product will be implemented for state gamblers and when Arizona may begin taking in-person and online sports betting.
When Will Arizona Online and In-Person Sports Betting be Available?
Since its legalization Arizona officials have made rapid progress with its online, retails and daily fantasy sports plans. Lawmakers made it known that their desire was for bets to be taken by the NFL season, which may become a reality with the speed the state is moving.
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.
What Options will be Available for Arizona Online Sports Betting?
FanDuel and DraftKings will certainly be available as online applications for state gamblers, but what else may be available?
William Hill is 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.
Miguel didn’t identify who the tribe would partner with but did confirm sports betting will be an option at its Harrah’s location in Maricopa.
“Harrah’s will be a partner with us on the sports betting portion on the casino here at Ak Chin. They’re in negotiations with a sports betting agency and group. I don’t want to identify who they are, the talks are ongoing, but we should have something in place,” he said.
What’s in it for the State?
At full maturity, what can the state expect in terms of annual revenue from sports betting? According to AZ Business Magazine, the state can millions in annual tax revenue from sports betting alone.
With a minimum 8% tax rate on sports betting and a projection of $252 million in annual sports betting revenue, the state could potentially see $20.1 million in annual tax revenue from sports betting when the program is at full maturity.