The Arizona Legislature approved new gambling opportunities, allowing sports betting on and off reservations.
Arizona Legislature Passes Sports Wagering Bill
On Monday, the Arizona Legislature approved Bill 1797 known as the “the fantasy sports bill” to allow sports betting on and off reservations, which would present new opportunities for tribe-owned casinos. The Senate approved the bill, which passed the House last month, and sent it to Gov. Doug Ducey. He negotiated the deal and asked lawmakers for approval.
In January, Ducey called for the modernization of the 20-year old gaming compact, which could bring more revenue for the state and the tribes. He worked on a new deal with the tribes for years to permit gambling outside of tribal casinos to increase revenue. The passing of this legislation is connected to the gaming compact deal Ducey made with tribes.
Last month, Ducey pushed for a bill that would legalize historical horse racing in the state, aiming to modernize the gambling bill. If allowed, it would permit off-track betting parlors machines that resemble slots.
Professional Teams Would Run Sports Wagering In Their Venues
The bill allows sports wagering at tribal casinos and sites owned by professional sports teams. It would also permit sports betting on professional and college sporting events. The legislature also permits new Keno games and fantasy sports at fraternal organizations and horse race tracks.
The bill would allow professional sports teams like Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona Coyotes to run sports wagering operations in their facilities and retail locations within a quarter-mile and online. NASCAR, professional golf, and other sports will receive 10 licenses.
The State Would Award 10 Licenses to the Tribes
The tribes have protected their exclusive rights to run gambling in the state for almost two decades. Under the new deal, they will be able to build new casinos. The state would award the tribes 10 licenses to run sports wagering at two dozens casinos in Arizona. The tribes would also be allowed to expand their exclusive game offerings by adding craps and Baccarat to their slot machines.
Arizona would allow companies to run fantasy sports operations if they meet the standards. There are options for online gambling, which means that Draft Kings and other sites could take advantage of the new situation.
Revenue Could Exceed $100 Million Annually
It hasn’t been estimated yet what the amount of the revenue would be. However, Rep. Jeff Weninger, who sponsored the bill, stated that the state general fund could receive more than $100 million a year.
For the new changes to be in effect, the Legislation and an extension of the gaming compact with the tribes need to be adopted by the state.