Arizona Sports Betting Bill Moves to Senate for Consideration
The never-ending saga to approve sports betting in Arizona might have received a boost Thursday.
After its third reading in the state House with some amendments, HB 2772 was passed Thursday by a vote of 48-12 and now moves to the state Senate over the next few days for more discussion and a possible vote.
Passage of the legislation is tied to the updated gaming compact Gov. Doug Ducey has reached with tribes but has not been released to the public yet. HB 2772 received enough bipartisan votes (nine Republicans, three Democrats voted against) to become effective immediately upon the governor's signature.
Introduced by Rep. Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler), HB 2772 would allow wagers to be placed online, would have daily fantasy sports wagering and also add limited Keno games at off-track betting locations and social clubs like the American Legion, Elks Club, etc.
According to the legislation, the four Arizona major professional sports teams – the NFL's Cardinals, NBA's Suns, NHL's Coyotes and MLB's Diamondbacks – could operate sports betting at their venues, at a separate retail location within a quarter mile of the stadiums/arenas and online. Ten licenses would be awarded to other sports entities like the PGA Tour and NASCAR.
The bill cleared the House Rules Committee last month by a 9-1 vote.
Senate Sports Betting Bill Tied to Historic Horse Racing
Ducey, a Republican, has supported new gaming opportunities for the state and tribes. In his State of the State address last month, he said it was “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.”
Arizona’s Indian gaming tribes are opposed to historic horse racing, viewing the terminals as slot machines. That could make it difficult to pass the bill. The tribes say historical horse racing would be a threat to their exclusive gaming rights under their existing compact and could impact the compact they are currently negotiating with Ducey.
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