Sports Betting Deal Proposal Could Boost Revenue in Arizona

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Under a proposal submitted to the House of Representatives in Arizona, professional and college sports betting would be allowed at tribal casinos and facilities owned by professional sports teams.

Sports Betting Could Be Allowed at Tribal Casinos in Arizona

The proposal, introduced on Monday in the Arizona House of Representatives, is part of a plan to update an already existing state deal that allows Native American casinos. The plan includes online betting and fantasy sports wagering. Limited Keno games at social clubs and off-track betting locations would also be added.

Some of the revenue from realized gambling profits would go to the state’s general fund. Any profit from tribal gambling currently goes to special state accounts and local governments. According to the Department of Gaming report, the gambling revenue by the tribes in 2020 was almost $2 billion. Cities received $13 million. The state received $102 million.

More Revenue for the State of Arizona Could Be on the Rise

Gov. Doug Ducey has been working with the tribes for several years on deals that will allow gambling outside tribal casinos. He wants to modernize the gambling system and bring more revenue for the state. In his seventh State of the State address last month, Ducey said: “There’s also an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.”

Rep. Jeff Weninger of Chandler introduced the proposal on Monday and seized that opportunity. Weninger said in an interview on Tuesday that the deal that would allow gambling outside tribal casinos would bring more revenue without raising taxes.

10 Licenses Would Be Awarded to Sports and 10 to State-Tribal Casinos

Based on the proposal, the state would award 10 licenses to sports, including popular activities such as golf and NASCA. Sports teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and the Phoenix Coyotes would be able to run sports betting operations online and at a retail location within a quarter-mile. Tribes would receive 10 licenses and would also be able to run sportsbook activities at state-tribal casinos.

Gretchen Conger, Ducey’s deputy chief of staff, commented on the difficult situation which tribes and sports teams have faced during the pandemic. She said that the plan would bring a revenue boost, but it would take time to estimate the amount. It depends on gambling and sports events.

The state and tribal operators have not reached a consensus in several attempts to legalize sports betting in 2020.

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