Live on Jan. 12

NHL's Arizona Coyotes to enter digital sports betting market with SaharaBets next week

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NHL’s Arizona Coyotes are entering the sports betting landscape, the team’s management announced on Wednesday. Majority owner Alex Meruelo and his Meruelo Gaming, affiliate of Sahara Las Vegas and Grand Sierra Resort casinos in Reno, Nevada, are launching online and digital sports betting platform SaharaBets.

SaharaBets will be available for download on January 12, according to an official press statement. The product’s official page shows the platform will allow gamblers to bet on more than 10 sporting events, including football, baseball and basketball, and will also permit different types of bets, including singles, parlays, spread, and more.

"SaharaBets brings the excitement and reputation of the iconic SAHARA Las Vegas to sports fans here in Arizona," said SaharaBets President Andrew Patterson. "As the sports betting landscape continues to evolve in the Valley, SaharaBets looks forward to collaborating with the Coyotes organization to engage and interact with sports fans in fun and unique ways."

The new product launch is a natural extension for the Coyotes’ ownership, which already has a footing secured in the resort and casino business. It also allows the popular NFL brand to gain a place in a relatively new market, which made it legal to place bets since last September. 

"The Coyotes are dedicated to providing innovative and entertaining experiences for our great fans," said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. "Our partnership with SaharaBets will offer next-level gaming experiences for fans who want to unleash their competitive spirit."

According to a press statement, the launch comes “ahead of some of the biggest events in sports.” This seemingly includes the upcoming Super Bowl, as well as the NFL playoffs. But one of the app’s selling points will be unique offers for bets on Coyotes games, according to Patterson, as quoted by AZ Central. This is set to be a unique feature compared to other apps in the state.

"But probably more importantly, it's the engagement and the opportunity fans will have maybe outside the app," Patterson said. "What experiences can they gain by being a SaharaBets customer that really drive them to engage with the team in a different way and with the application, different from what you might get from other operators in the state."

According to the previously cited new source, a live sportsbook, such as the one Phoenix Suns have at Footprint Center, is not currently in the works. This is due to the Coyotes being set to leave Gila River Arena by the end of the season. However, a retail facility could be part of the new arena proposal the Coyotes have presented to the city of Tempe.

Coyotes are now the last major pro team in Arizona to launch a digital platform. This follows FanDuel's partnership with the Phoenix Suns; Caesars' deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks; BetMGM partnering with Phoenix Cardinals; DraftKings going live with the PGA Tour; Barstool Sportsbook's partnership with NASCAR; and BetRivers' deal with the Arizona Rattlers.

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