The license application has already been submitted, notification is expected within 4 weeks

Australian operator BlueBet seeks to enter Arizona's online sports betting with BlueWater casino

BlueWater Resort & Casino is owned by Colorado River Indian Tribes in Arizona.
Reading time 2:28 min
The mobile wagering provider entered into a 10-year deal with the Colorado River Indian Tribes. BlueBet will be the designee for CRIT and BlueWater Resort & Casino to obtain licensure for the online sports betting in the state. The sportsbook would be offered through its online platform, both on mobile and website formats. BlueBet has identified Iowa and a further four priority states in the US: Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee and Maryland.

Online mobile wagering provider BlueBet announced Tuesday its subsidiary BlueBet Arizona’s agreement with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and BlueWater Resort & Casino to pursue online sports betting market access in the state. The license application has been submitted and notification is expected within four weeks, provided that it gets approved.

Key features of the agreement include: 

  • BlueBet to be the designee for CRIT and BlueWater Resort & Casino so that BlueBet obtains licensure to operate online sports betting in Arizona. 
  • The new online sportsbook would be offered through BlueBet’s mobile app and website platform technology, with branding expected to be announced shortly. 
  • A term of 10 years.
  • BlueBet will pay CRIT a market access fee and a portion of Net Gaming Revenues derived from online sportsbook operations. 
  • BlueBet agrees to make an annual community fund donation to a community-based organization associated with CRIT. 
  • BlueBet will be responsible for licencing and regulatory costs associated with the operation of the online sportsbook.

As well as Iowa, BlueBet identified a further four priority states in the US, which include Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee and Maryland, with a combined population of over 27 million people. Should the licence to operate in Arizona be secured, its 7.2 million population would represent a material incremental opportunity. 

In May 2021, BlueBet applied for an online wagering licence with the Virginia Lottery. The company is still waiting for the final call on this application, which confirmation is expected by the end of the current quarter. 

Online sports betting in Arizona was legalized in April 2021 by Governor, Doug Ducey. Its launch date is set for September 9, 2021, to coincide with the start of the NFL season. The Sports Wagering Act allows up to 20 Sportsbooks to operate in Arizona, with these licences being split between professional sports teams/sites and the state’s tribal casinos. 

BlueBet’s Chief Executive Officer, Bill Richmond, spoke in a press release about this new agreement and said.

 “We’re very excited to be announcing this agreement within two months of BlueBet’s IPO. We see Arizona as a fantastic next step for BlueBet in the US. The opportunity is particularly advantageous because Arizona is such an unpenetrated market, with no existing operators despite it being a state of sports fanatics”, he pointed out.

“Arizona’s population is twice that of Iowa, where we have our first US skin and where the sports betting market is estimated to have gaming revenue worth more than a billion US dollars per year, so this agreement represents a significant escalation in our push into the US. We hadn’t originally considered Arizona as a first mover state in our US expansion but our strategy in the US is to be continuously proactively seeking out new opportunities like this to grow our footprint swiftly to take full advantage of this unique green field prospect”, he said. 

“We will look to continue to build on this momentum as we seek market access in more US states and move to our B2B Sportsbook-as-a-Solution model long term”, he concluded. 

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