Arizona Gov. Signs Sports Betting Bill; FanDuel Gains Access

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Arizona Gov. Signs Sports Betting Bill; FanDuel Gains Access
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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday signed historic sports betting and fantasy sports legislation into law at The Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Shortly after, the Phoenix Suns and FanDuel Sportsbook announced a multiyear market access partnership making the platform the Suns’ Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Sports Partner. As part of the deal, FanDuel will open a retail sportsbook inside the Phoenix Suns Arena, expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2021-22 NBA season.

RELATED: More On Sports Betting in Arizona

On Monday, the Arizona Senate passed SB 1797, a bill to legalize event wagering and daily fantasy sports. The 23-6-1 vote sent it to Ducey, who had supported the legislation, for his signature. With the signature, a 20-year extension of tribal compacts in the state kicks in.

Ducey was joined by legislators and tribal leaders for the signing ceremony on Thursday at the Heard Museum, which is dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art.

"This is a very special occasion and celebration in Arizona's history. This is the largest gathering I have been in in over year," a smiling Ducey said at the signing ceremony. "The Tribal Nations and the state have a deep history in Arizona. Today, we mark the new continuation of this storied partnership.

”Earlier this week, Arizona passed legislation that modernizes gaming in Arizona and provides additional revenues for Arizona and Tribal Nations. Arizona's gaming compact has been updated multiple times, but this represents the most significant changes in almost two decades. A truly historic event."

The Arizona Department of Gaming will have to come up with sports betting regulations, including a tax rate, before it approves sportsbook operators. Lawmakers said on Monday they hope AZ online sports betting will start prior to the upcoming NFL season in early September.

Sen. T.J. Shope (R) was the primary sponsor of SB 1791, along with Sen. Sonny Borelli (R) and Rep. Jeff Weninger (R).

“The legislation and the amended gaming compact will keep our state moving forward and benefit Arizonans of all walks of life. It will impact our tourism industry, generate millions in revenue, and expand job opportunities across Arizona,” Shope said in a release Thursday. “I’m grateful to Gov. Ducey, Rep. Weninger, all legislators who supported the bill, and our tribal partners for playing a role in modernizing Arizona’s gaming.”

FanDuel Gains Market Access

FanDuel joins DraftKings Sportsbook, which announced an access deal with the PGA Tour and the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Wednesday, in the Arizona market. Both are pending approval from state regulators.

“This is a watershed moment for the Suns organization and our fans," Phoenix Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley said in a news release. “FanDuel is the perfect partner as our missions are fully aligned. Simply put, FanDuel is committed to making sports more exciting while the Suns are focused on delivering exciting sports and entertainment and engaging fans at the highest level possible.”

In addition to a full-service ticket window and self-service kiosks within the sportsbook, fans will be able to place bets throughout Phoenix Suns Arena on their mobile devices during games, the release said.

“As we gear up to bring our best-in-class online and retail offerings to the state of Arizona, this is a momentous time for FanDuel, the Suns, and Suns fans alike," Mike Raffenspberger, FanDuel Group chief marketing officer, said in the release. "We’re excited to open a luxury sportsbook within Phoenix Suns Arena, as the beginning of a long-term and innovative collaboration that will have a lasting impact on the state."

As part of the agreement, the Suns and FanDuel will work together on a series of responsible gambling education activities. FanDuel has signed on to the America Gaming Association’s national campaign to promote the fundamentals of responsible sports betting, “Have a Game Plan.”

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Lou Monaco

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