Sports betting is legal in Arizona, signed into law on April 15, 2021. Online and retail sports wagering are permitted, and Arizona will be one of the first states to offer sports betting in stadium facilities.
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Arizona lawmakers passed sports betting legislation by an overwhelming margin on April 12, 2021, and Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law three days later.
The state’s renegotiated compact with gaming tribes was formally approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior on May 24. The Arizona Department of Gaming is in the process of writing sports betting rules and regulations and setting license application procedures and fees.
No specific date has been set for the official launch of sports betting in Arizona, but state lawmakers included an emergency rules provision to expedite the process and are hopeful sports betting will be up and running for the 2021 NFL season.
Key provisions of Arizona’s sports betting law:
Given the landscape of Arizona gambling, the state was not the most likely candidate to adopt sports betting in 2021. Previous attempts to legalize sports betting were met with significant resistance from lawmakers and especially the state's tribes, who enjoyed a casino gambling monopoly in the state.
Gov. Doug Ducey helped alter the playing field by publicly endorsing sports betting and renegotiating the state’s compacts with the tribes, offering them expanded casino gaming opportunities and half of the state’s sports betting licenses. That has paved the way for Arizona residents and visitors to enjoy statewide mobile wagering. A brief year-by-year timeline of AZ sports betting:
1992: Compacts are signed with tribes to formally allow the offering of casino and slot machines on tribal lands.
2003: Compacts are renewed, which allows more than 20 tribes to operate Arizona casinos and slots in the state.
2018: The U.S. Supreme Court provides all states the opportunity to legalize sports betting by overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which had restricted single-game sports wagering to Nevada.
2019: An Arizona sports betting bill that does not include mobile wagering but would allow sports betting inside bars and fraternal organizations with certain liquor licenses, fails to advance past the committee stage.
2020: Legislation that would give exclusive rights to Native American tribes to open retail sportsbooks is introduced in February but fails to gain support and dies in committee.
2021: Ducey successfully renegotiates the state’s gaming compacts with tribes to include sports betting, and several bills that would legalize retail and online sports betting are introduced in the State Senate and House. After a controversial historical horse racing machine provision is removed from the legislation, HB 2772, which legalizes online and retail sports betting and daily fantasy sports, is approved by a 23-6 vote. Ducey signs the bill three days later, legalizing sports betting in AZ.
The Arizona Department of Gaming provides oversight and regulation of the state’s gaming industry, including all potential sportsbook operators. That includes all aspects of retail and mobile betting, including the writing of all rules, license applications, fee structures and enforcement of gambling laws.
Both the Arizona Department of Gaming and tribal regulators oversee the state’s tribal casinos to ensure legal sports betting practices.
The following online sportsbooks have already announced deals to operate in Arizona (see sections below) or are expected to go live:
Known initially for its dominant daily fantasy sports operation, DraftKings sportsbook has grown into one of the most recognizable brands in sports betting, with retail and/or mobile operations in more than a dozen states. Authorized or official gaming operator of the NBA, MLB, PGA Tour and UFC and recently announced a similar partnership with the NFL.
Gaming giant took a similar path to rival DraftKings, growing from daily fantasy sports operator into dominant online/retail sports betting provider. FanDuel sports betting app is among the most downloaded in the industry. FanDuel operates in at least 16 states and is an official sponsor or online sports betting partner of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and WNBA.
An online partnership of MGM Resorts International and tech-driven Entain PLC, is rapidly expanding its BetMGM mobile sportsbook operations across the U.S. Its online sportsbook offers a wide range of promotions and bonus offers. BetMGM is an official sports betting partner of the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, WNBA, NASCAR, PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, and has deals with more than a half-dozen NFL franchises.
The two gaming giants are now one after Caesars finalized its purchase of the global sports betting operator in early 2021. The combined companies offer mobile sports betting in more than a dozen states. Caesars said it plans to rebrand its retail sportsbooks from William Hill to Caesars and its sports betting app to Caesars Sports. Sports betting industry partner of NFL, ESPN and the Arizona Diamondbacks, among others.
Australian-based sports betting operator PointsBet has signed major partnership deals with NBC Sports and the NHL, which allows both to take an equity stake in global sportsbook that is aggressively expanding its U.S. footprint. Creative promotions include Good Karma Refund, in which bettors can choose a bad beat they want refunded. Only U.S. online sportsbook to offer PointsBetting format, which allows a bettor to win or lose more than their original stake.
One of the largest online bookmakers in Europe has customers in more than 100 countries and is making inroads in the U.S., with Unibet online sportsbooks in four states and growing. In Pennsylvania, Unibet is the official sportsbook partner of the Philadelphia Eagles, and launched a first-of-its-kind sports-themed online casino. Unibet offers wagering opportunities for both U.S. and international sports leagues as well as esports betting, which is legal in Arizona.
Owned by Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers offering sports wagering in nearly a dozen states. Its online welcome bonus is one of the best in the industry, requiring bettors to wager their bonus money only once before redeeming it. The BetRivers sports betting app is player-friendly and easy to use.
|Sportsbook||Arizona Partner||Retail Location||Launch Date|
|DraftKings||PGA Tour||TPC Scottdale||TBD|
|FanDuel||Phoenix Suns||Phoenix Suns Arena||TBD|
|Caesars||Arizona Diamondbacks||Chase Field||TBD|
|Caesars||Ak-Chin Indian Community||Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino||TBD|
|Sportsbook||Arizona Partner||Retail Location||Launch Date|
|BetMGM||Gila River Indian Community||Phoenix-area casinos||TBD|
|PointsBet||Arizona Coyotes||Gila River Arena||TBD|
Arizona sports betting law permits wagering on all games involving Arizona-based professional and college teams. The state’s most popular professional sports teams:
Joined the NFL as a charter member in 1920 as the Chicago Cardinals, moved to St. Louis in 1960 and then to the Phoenix area before the 1988 NFL season. The Cardinals are one of 12 NFL teams to have never won a Super Bowl (they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 in Super Bowl XLII) and haven’t reached the postseason since 2015-16. Dynamic quarterback Kyler Murray gives the franchise hope for the future and DeAndre Hopkins was the third in the NFL in receiving yards last season. The Cardinals play their home games at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, site of the 2023 Super Bowl.
Plenty to be excited about for one of the NBA’s up-and-coming teams. After six consecutive losing seasons, the Suns won the Pacific Division in 2020-21 and boast a stellar backcourt with Devin Booker and Chris Paul. The franchise has ridden the pair to become one of Arizona's most exciting sports teams. The Suns, who joined the NBA in 1969, have reached the NBA Finals twice (1975-76 and 1992-93), losing both times in six games. The Suns play their home games at Phoenix Suns Arena.
The fastest expansion franchise in history to win a World Series, the Diamondbacks joined MLB for the 1998 season and beat the New York Yankees to claim the title four years later in 2001. Recent history hasn’t been as kind to the Diamondbacks: They haven’t won a playoff series since the 2007 season, though they did win a National League Wild Card playoff game in 2017. The D-backs play their home games at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
The Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996, were re-named the Phoenix Coyotes and then the Arizona Coyotes in 2014. The Coyotes, who failed to qualify for the playoffs in eight of the past nine seasons, are the oldest franchise to have never played in the Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL team, which is switching from the West to Central Division in the 2021-22 season, plays its home games at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
One of eight original franchises of the WNBA and one of the winningest. Guard Diana Taurasi, the league’s all-time leading scorer and a nine-time All-Star selection, has played her entire career for the Mercury, who won WNBA titles in 2007, 2009 and 2014. The Mercury have won more championships than all the aforementioned professional sports teams in Arizona combined. The Mercury play their home games at Phoenix Suns Arena.
Arizona bettors can also wager on college sports. The state’s most popular college teams are the University of Arizona and Arizona State, both of which compete in the Pac-12 Conference.
A look at sports betting partnerships for Arizona professional sports franchises. Announced or existing partnerships are followed by an asterisk. Others are speculative based on sportsbook/league relationships:
The sports gaming giant and NBA team announced a multi-year partnership designating FanDuel as the Suns’ official online/retail sportsbook and daily fantasy sports partner. FanDuel will open a sportsbook location inside the Phoenix Suns Arena. The sportsbook is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-22 season.
The official sports betting partner of the PGA Tour, DraftKings expanded that relationship by announcing plans for a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, site of the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open. A ”19th hole’’ experience is in the planning stages, with fans able to wager on sports year-round in addition to access for mobile sports betting. DraftKings and the PGA Tour plan to have the sportsbook ready in time for the 2023 event.
The iconic gambling name and National League team agreed to a 10-year partnership, with Caesars planning to open a year-round, two-level sportsbook in the plaza outside of Chase Field’s main entrance. The deal gives Caesars mobile sports betting access and exclusive sponsorship for both sports betting and daily fantasy sports for the Diamondbacks. The agreement is part of a multi-year deal with MLB, which makes Caesars an authorized gaming operator for the league.
NASCAR and WynnBet announced a multi-year sports betting partnership to create and promote both retail and online sports betting. WynnBet already has partnerships with Richmond Raceway and Martinsville Speedway in Virginia and would be a logical partner for Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, which hosts two NASCAR races per year.
The NFL announced five-year sports betting partnership agreements with DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars in April 2021. Caesars also remains the league’s official casino sponsor. The deals are not binding on the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, who have yet to announce sports betting partners or plans, but it may give one of three sports betting giants an inside track. Any sports betting deal with the Cardinals comes with the added benefit of State Farm Stadium hosting the Super Bowl in 2023.
The global sports betting operator and NHL announced a multi-year deal in 2021 that makes PointsBet the official sports betting partner of the league. The deal, which allows the NHL to take a small equity stake in the Aussie-based operator, makes the Arizona Coyotes a logical partner to team up with PointsBet, though the NHL also has partnerships with other sports betting operators.
The Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury have a partnership with Gila River Hotels & Casino, owned by the Gila River Indian Community, which reportedly is in talks with BetMGM about a sports betting partnership. While the Suns struck their own deal with FanDuel, the Mercury can apply for their own sports betting license. Both teams are owned by Arizona businessman Robert Sarver.
Bettors in the Grand Canyon State will find wagering available on all the major U.S. sports leagues, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, NASCAR, UFC, etc., along with college sports such as NCAA football and basketball.
Action on high-profile international sports leagues (English Premier League, European PGA Tour, etc.,) will also be available, in addition to less-popular niche sports, such as table tennis, rugby, Aussie Rules Football and badminton.
Arizona online bettors will also find plenty of opportunities for live (in-play) betting, in which wagers are placed while a game is in progress, with odds updated in real time.
If AZ sports betting follows the lead of other states, online sportsbooks will offer a variety of deposit and withdrawal methods. The most popular deposit options include:
Deposits can be instantaneous, depending on method used. Fees vary and are generally higher when using a credit card.
Players can request withdrawals from their account at any time. Withdrawals generally take up to 48 hours for approval. Most, but not all, deposit methods can be used for withdrawals. You may be asked to provide a photo ID when withdrawing funds for the first time.
Sports betting online in Arizona is now legal, though rules are not yet finalized, and some final details must be ironed out before launch. Barring any last-minute surprises, sports betting in Arizona should compare favorably to most other states.
With online and retail options and 20 sports betting licenses available, Arizona will provide a competitive marketplace. More competition clearly benefits bettors, who will have more wagering options and a wider range of bonuses and promotions to choose from. Sports betting at stadiums will add to the live-game experience. Allowing wagering on games involving Arizona-based college teams – including the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils – will keep betting dollars inside the state.
In addition to regulating retail and online sports betting, the Arizona Department of Gaming oversees the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling. The regulatory agency provides information and resources for problem gambling and allows bettors to enroll in a voluntary self-exclusion program for a period of one, five or 10 years. This helps players take the necessary steps to gamble responsibly.
Arizona online sportsbooks will be required to provide responsible gambling information and bettors will be able to set specific limits on deposits, wager amounts and time spent on the website.
Online and retail sports betting is legal in Arizona, though wagering has not yet started. Rules and regulations must be approved, and the license application process must be completed. The hope is that legal sports betting will launch in Arizona in time for the 2021 NFL season.
Bettors must be 21 or older to bet on sports in Arizona.
Both already have partnerships in place to offer sports betting and daily fantasy sports in Arizona. Each must be formally approved for a license.
Yes, if your sports betting site is licensed and regulated by the Arizona Department of Gaming, which enforces the state’s gambling laws to protect customer accounts and their personal information. Offshore-based sportsbooks, which are not properly licensed and lack legitimate oversight, are not safe and should be avoided.
No, you do not need to be an Arizona resident – you can be a resident of any state. But you must be physically located inside Arizona when placing a wager. Online sportsbooks use geofencing technology to monitor a bettor’s location. If an online wager is attempted from outside state lines, the bettor will receive a pop-up denying the wager.
Yes. Arizona sportsbook operators will pay a minimum tax rate of 8 percent, which is lower than most other states. The funds are earmarked for Arizona’s general fund. Additional revenue for the state will be raised through license application and renewal fees.
Yes. All gambling winnings are considered taxable income, according to the IRS.
"Chet Fussman is a freelance writer for Gambling.com. Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones."
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