Bill HB 2772

Arizona sports betting bill receives federal approval

Governor Doug Ducey signed the compact and accompanying legislation April 15th. The Compact modernizes the gaming industry in Arizona and includes retail and online sports betting in AZ.
2021-05-25
United States
Reading time 1:29 min
Gambling on sporting events and online fantasy sports betting became legal in Arizona on Monday, along with a host of new gambling options at tribal casinos, after the U.S. Department of the Interior approved an updated tribal gaming compact with the state. With the approval, a previously declared goal to start AZ sports betting in time for the NFL Season continues on course.

Lawmakers passed HB 2772 with a contingency clause to speed up the launch of sports betting in Arizona. The bill completed the compact, a lengthy negotiation process between Doug Ducey and the state’s gaming tribes.

After Ducey’s approval, Arizona Department of Gaming set a quick launch timeline. The department must set license fees, tax rates and types of bets before launch.

Outside of the reservation casinos, major professional sports groups will be able to offer wagering on pro sports like the NFL, and NBA. And online fantasy sports operations like DraftKings can piggyback on the licenses.

The approval by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs was the last cog needed for the gambling options to be fully legal in the state. Pro teams will need to get state-issued licenses and set up operations. Backers of the legislation hope that is possible by the start of the NFL season this fall.

The tribes fiercely protected their exclusive right to most gambling in Arizona under the gaming compact approved by the state’s voters in 2002 and will continue to get that protection under the new deal.

In addition to the new sports and online betting, the tribes can now greatly expand their exclusive gambling offerings, adding games such as Baccarat and craps and increasing the number of slot machines while maintianing existing offerings of blackjack and poker.

Gov. Ducey hailed the milestone, which came after five years of negotiations with tribes.

“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 statement.

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