- Legal States
Erik Gibbs April 16, 2021 3 min read
It’s Official: Arizona Becomes Latest State to Approve Sports Gambling
The 2020 and COVID-19 fiasco may have slowed down the progress of introducing sports gambling across the US, but states are now making up for the lost time. There is legislation being considered in a number of them to introduce legalized sports gambling and Arizona has now crossed the finish line. Following a successful run in both the House and the Senate, a sports gambling bill was signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey yesterday, and no one is wasting time introducing sportsbooks.
Arizona to Have Robust Sports Gambling Market
Arizona could be one of the larger sports gambling markets in the US once everything is in place. Online sportsbooks will be allowed and the state’s four professional sports teams – the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Coyotes, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns – were all authorized to offer sports gambling at their arenas. The Phoenix Open and NASCAR events will also see sportsbooks at their respective in-state venues and tribal casinos will host sports gambling facilities, as well.
The launch comes via Senate Bill 1797 (SB 1797), which was approved earlier this week by both the House and Senate. It had overwhelming success as it made its way through the chambers before landing on Governor Ducey’s desk and is expected to lead to “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue for the state. There are now more than 25 states, in addition to DC and Puerto Rico that have legalized sports gambling in the US.
The introduction of sports gambling comes with a new gambling compact between the state and the Tribal Nations. This has been called “a historic agreement” by both sides of the negotiating table and will allow tribal casinos to not only offer sportsbooks but more table games, as well. The agreement has to be approved by federal authorities, which isn’t expected to be an issue. Once everything is in place, Arizona’s sports gambling market could be live before the start of the upcoming NFL season in September.
Arizona Sports Teams Ready for Action
Arizona’s pro sports teams were already busy working on arrangements to bring sportsbooks to their home courts and fields before the ink from Governor Ducey’s signature was dry. Not long after he put pen to paper and turned SB 1797 into law, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns announced that it had teamed up with FanDuel to introduce a sportsbook to the Phoenix Suns Arena. The facility is expected to be in operation ahead of the upcoming NBA season and will be open year-round. It will also allow fans attending the games to place wagers from the bleachers directly through their smartphones.
The Diamondbacks are getting in on the action, as well, and have confirmed that they want to add a sportsbook to Chase Field. However, the MLB team didn’t specify when it would happen or with whom it will partner. DraftKings is also getting into the state through a deal with the PGA Tour. This will lead to the inclusion of a sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, a 36-hole golf course that is part of the PGA’s Tournament Players Club network.