Arizona Sports Betting Clears $1.2 Billion In Handle In First Three Months

Arizona sports betting recorded a handle of $1.24 billion during its first three months in operation, giving the Grand Canyon State a foothold in a growing southwestern US sportsbook market. 

The handle includes all event wagering, including retail sports betting, mobile sports betting, and daily fantasy sports, from the state’s sports betting launch on Sept. 9, 2021, through Nov. 30, 2021, according to a press release from the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG). 

ADG Director Ted Vogt said he expects revenues to stay strong as the Arizona sports betting market matures. 

“Arizona has exceeded expectations and is already a top 10 market nationally,” Vogt said in a statement. “Revenue from these new games is strong and will only get stronger as the market develops.”

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DraftKings, FanDuel Dominate Arizona Sports Betting Market

The strongest month yet for sports betting in Arizona was in October 2021. Gross event wagering for retail and mobile combined totaled over $486 million in that month alone, according to an ADG revenue report

The highest-grossing mobile operator in October was DraftKings Arizona with $151.4 million in gross receipts. FanDuel Arizona was close behind with gross mobile wagers of $115.9 million. FanDuel was also the top retail operator with $4.8 million in gross retail event wagering receipts. 

November 2021 was the second-best month, with $466.7 million in gross receipts for retail and mobile combined. DraftKings remained on top for mobile in November with $148.7 million in gross wagers, while FanDuel retained the number two spot for retail and mobile event wagering. 

Total retail and mobile event wagering from Sept. 9-Sept. 30 grossed $291.2 million, with DraftKings and FanDuel in the top two positions.

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How Many Sportsbooks Will Arizona Launch?

Sports betting in Arizona is available via mobile apps and in-person, with 10 mobile apps available across the state and several more sportsbooks expected to launch soon. 

Up to 20 sportsbook licenses are possible under a 2021 Arizona law and 2021 Arizona tribal-state gaming compact. Ten of those double as retail and mobile sportsbook licenses for sports betting off tribal land. The remaining 10 licenses allow mobile sportsbooks on tribal land. 

Tribes also are allowed to operate retail sportsbooks under a tribal-state gaming compact with the State of Arizona.

Once fully operational, estimates that Arizona sports betting revenue could reach $252 million a year, returning an estimated $20.1 million in annual tax revenue to the state.

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Sports Betting In Arizona And Surrounding States

Arizona is one of only three states in the far southwestern US. with legal sports betting. The other two are Nevada and New Mexico, although only Arizona and Nevada have legal mobile sports betting. 

Nevada was fourth in mobile sports betting handle and only behind New Jersey in total sports betting handle in Sept. 2021, with a sports betting handle of $786.7 million. The mobile sports betting handle accounted for $495.3 million of that total.

Other states surrounding Arizona are California and Utah, neither of which have legalized sports betting of any kind. Voters in California will, however, have a chance in Nov. 2022 to decide at the ballot whether or not to legalize sports betting at tribal casinos and licensed racetracks.

Three other California sports betting initiatives have been proposed, but have yet to make the statewide ballot. 

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.