Feds Sign Off On Arizona Gaming Compact; How Soon Can You Bet?

Feds Sign Off On Arizona Gaming Compact; How Soon Can You Bet?
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It’s a done deal.

The U.S. Department of Interior announced Monday it has given its approval to the amended Arizona tribal-state gaming compact, finalizing an agreement to modernize gaming that was signed on April 15 by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and the state’s tribal leaders.

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The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced a month ago that it has initiated a process to develop rules for the expanded gaming — including online sports betting and and daily fantasy sports contests.

The approval from the federal government came earlier than expected, which could mean a September launch date just in time for the start of the NFL season. The U.S. Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming (OIG) had 45 days from April 16 to review and approve the compacts and did so with time to spare.

Amended compacts between the state and tribes in Connecticut and Florida are undergoing a similar OIG review.

The goal of the governor and legislature in Arizona has been to launch in time for the NFL season. The Arizona Cardinals open their 2021 campaign at Tennessee on Sept. 12.

“Gaming creates thousands of jobs for Arizonans, it generates tax revenue that benefits key areas of our communities, and it draws visitors to our state,” Ducey said in a news release. “The tribal-state gaming compact amendment, along with its associated legislation, was the culmination of a multi-year process and I was proud to work with all the stakeholders on this historic accomplishment.

"The tribal-state gaming compact and its associated legislation now is officially in effect — thank you to everyone who worked to make this happen!”

Legislation Signed Into Law

Last month, Ducey joined state lawmakers and tribal leaders at the Heard Museum in Phoenix to sign House Bill 2772, sponsored by state Rep. Jeff Weninger, and the amended tribal-state gaming compact. The legislation was part of a compromise negotiated in the amended gaming compact, which was modernized.

The compact amendment and the associated legislation took more than five years to negotiate, and it ensures gaming in Arizona remains limited and regulated while providing certainty for the future of the state and tribes.

Rules Are Being Drafted

The state Department of Gaming has been working on completing a first draft of rules.

After the draft is completed, within 60 days, the ADG will then receive feedback from industry stakeholders on the first draft of rules. After input from industry stakeholders, ADG will finalize drafted rules and post them for public inspection and comment.

Once the compacts and the rulemaking processes are complete, these new legalized games will become operational.

The law allows for 20 AZ sports betting licenses. Gaming tribes receive 10 and another 10 could go to Arizona professional sports teams.