Arizona online sports betting is now legal and sports betting apps will launch shortly, the expected date of September 9. The Arizona online gambling laws, though, are a little complex and reflect the interesting and complex history the state has with gambling of various types.
Arizona tribal nations have dominated the Grand Canyon State’s gambling market since 1992 under a series of tribal-state gaming compacts required by federal law. Now that market is expanding, pending federal approval of an amended tribal-state gaming compact negotiated between tribal leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey this spring.
The result? Online gambling options in Arizona, both on-reservation and off-reservation statewide.
The newly-amended Arizona Gaming Compact will allow tribal nations that have signed an amended tribal-state gaming compact with the State of Arizona to operate on-reservation retail sports betting, as well as fantasy sports contests, in the Grand Canyon State as authorized by Arizona’s 2021 Gaming Act. Off-reservation retail sports betting run by commercial entities, mobile sports betting run by tribes and commercial entities, and off-reservation fantasy sports contests will be licensed and regulated by the state under the 2021 Gaming Act.
2021 Gaming Act
The 2021 Gaming Act authorizes sports betting and fantasy sports contests statewide in Arizona, including on Indian lands. The legislation also authorizes lottery-run single electronic keno and mobile draw games off-reservation at specific facilities. Licensing requirements and restrictions for sports betting, fantasy sports contests, electronic keno, and mobile draw games are defined in the legislation, which was signed into law on April 15, 2021.
2021 Arizona Gaming Compact
The amended Arizona Gaming Compact, negotiated between Arizona’s tribal nations and the State of Arizona, is a federally required agreement for the operation of Class III gambling activities on tribal lands. The new compact allows tribes to operate sports betting, fantasy sports contests, Baccarat, craps, and authorizes the use of thousands more slot machines at tribal casinos. The amended compact also authorizes up to 11 new tribal casinos.
Signed compacts received federal approval, which is needed before they can take effect. Each compact is effective for 10 years and can be renewed for another decade, plus up to an additional three years.
Arizona Sports Betting State Tax Rate And Licensing Fees
|Arizona Sports Betting|
|Tax Rate||8.0% (in-person bets)
10.0% (mobile bets)
|License Fee||$750,000 (to apply)
|Date Signed Into Law||April 15, 2021|
Timeline For Passage Of The 2021 Gaming Act
The crown jewel of the 2021 Gaming Act in Arizona is the legalization and authorization of sports betting, both on- and off-reservation. Sports betting will be allowed on tribal lands under the amended Arizona Gaming Compact and off-reservation through licensure under the 2021 Gaming Act. This includes online sports betting through browsers and mobile betting apps. It took some time, though, to successfully pass online betting laws in Arizona.
Senate Bill 1163 (Sen. Sonny Borrelli) proposed giving Indian tribes the sole authority to operate sports betting on-reservation and remotely by the kiosk. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 26, but lost momentum under stiff opposition from several tribes engaged in tribal compact negotiations.
Senate Bill 1525 (Sen. Sonny Borrelli) was a second attempt to pass Borrelli’s proposal for land-based sportsbooks run exclusively by compacted tribes. The measure stalled in committee and never made it to the Senate floor.
House Bill 2813 (Rep. Steve Pierce) and Borrelli tried to get a similar bill through the House that would have allowed both commercial and tribal retail sports betting in Arizona. The bill made it out of the House Appropriations Committee in February and onto the House floor in March, only to stall as COVID-19 concerns rose.
House Bill 2772 (Rep. Jeff Weninger) — a companion bill to Senate Bill 1797 (Sen. T.J. Shope) — authorizes sports betting (called “event wagering” in the legislation) and fantasy sports contest betting in Arizona both on and off tribal lands, contingent upon federal approval of the amended Arizona Gaming Compact. It also authorizes electronic keno and mobile draw games off Indian lands. Referred to as the 2021 Gaming Act in the amended Arizona Gaming Compact, HB 2772 was signed into law on April 15, 2021.
Arizona Online Gambling Fact Table
|Minimum Age To Gamble||21|
|Types of Legal Online Gambling||Sports Betting, Fantasy Sports Betting|
|Date of Legalization||April 15, 2021|
|Who Regulates Online Gambling In Arizona?||Arizona Department of Gaming|
Is Online Gambling Safe?
Gambling online through state-regulated or monitored websites and mobile gambling apps is the safest way to bet online in Arizona. Legal retail and mobile online gambling operators are regulated and monitored by the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG). It is not considered safe to share personal or financial information with non-regulated online sportsbooks.
How Can I Ensure The Safety Of My Personal Information When Using Online Casinos And Sports Betting Sites In Arizona?
Only bet through online gambling sites that are state-regulated and monitored. Gaming vendor certifications and enforcement information are available for public viewing on the ADG website. Also, make sure that the online gambling website or mobile gambling app you choose is secured by encryption software. A secure website is often indicated by a padlock icon in the URL address bar.
Who Operates The Online Gaming Sites In Arizona?
Online gambling sites in Arizona are operated by regulated — or legal — online gambling operators, as well as illegal operators. Legal sites typically cite their regulatory and licensing agency or agencies on the website. Illegal sites operate outside of the bounds of Arizona law and are typically run offshore.
What Happens If I Have A Dispute With The Online Casino In Arizona?
Disputes involving tribal casino wagers are handled by each casino’s Tribal Gaming Office (TGO), which is monitored by the ADG. The Arizona Gaming Compact gives the TGOs sole authority to resolve disputes involving wins and losses at their facility. Disputes with operators off-reservation will be regulated by the ADG through enforcement of the 2021 Gambling Act.
Who Is In Charge Of Regulating Arizona’s Online Gambling Sites?
The ADG will regulate and license online gambling operators on non-tribal lands under the 2021 Gambling Act. The amended Arizona Gaming Compact and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 give each tribe the authority to govern Class III online gaming — including sports betting and fantasy sports contests – within its tribal territory.
What Is The Difference Between Legal And Illegal Online Gambling Sites?
Legal online gambling sites are regulated by the state or jurisdiction where a bet is placed. In Arizona, gambling off tribal reservations is regulated and enforced by the ADG. Gambling on tribal lands is monitored by the ADG through the Tribal Investigations and Inspections Unit. Tribes also have their own regulatory agencies.