The launch of sports betting in Arizona will hopefully not be delayed, as a judge in Maricopa County waits to listen to arguments in a key case. James Smith, a Superior Court Judge, set an evidentiary hearing that will take place today in the lawsuit against the head of the Department of Gaming, Ted Vogt, and Gov. Doug Ducey. The lawsuit was filed by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.
The Tribes Are Allegedly Forced Into The New Gaming Compact
According to the Tribe, the new law on sports betting in Arizona is forcing it and other tribes into a new gaming compact. Not only that, but, according to the tribe, the new law is unconstitutional. Hence, it is demanding a delay so that the courts can review the agreements and see whether they are following Arizona’s constitution.
Sports betting in the state is set to begin on September 9, with the start of the new NFL season, and it has proven to be over-popular, as 25 operators have applied for the 20 available licenses. Online sportsbooks have already started to accept registrations and will be ready to start accepting bets at midnight on the NFL’s opening day.
Smith told both partiers that their briefs needed to be ready by the end of the day last Friday; Ducey’s lawyers had until Sunday to reply. Smith also noted that the losing side of the ruling is likely to appeal and that he intends this matter to move to the appellate court.
Another Case Already Dismissed
The other case that was filed by Turf Paradise, with the intention of stopping sports wagering’s launch, was dismissed by Judge Smith. Turf Paradise is a horse racing track in Phoenix and filed a lawsuit after the state denied its sportsbook license.
So, the owners of the track wanted the launch of sports betting in Arizona to be put on hold until the state gaming department hears its appeal. Judge Smith did not accept it and he stated that the matter should be dealt with the appeal process of the gaming department, not with the court.
The Interest in Sports Betting in Arizona is Massive
The number of applicants exceeded the number of available licenses that the state of Arizona will provide. A survey by BetArizona.com found out that the interest among bettors in the state is actually pretty high. This survey found out that around 17% of Arizona’s residents already bet on sports regularly.
Additionally, 22% will place bets once legal wagering on sports goes live. In summary, that equals to around 1.6 million residents that will be waiting in line to place bets.