New Senate Bill Could Boost Competition In Arizona Sports Betting

Up to 13 additional sports betting licenses would become available to Arizona’s federally recognized tribes under a bill introduced in the Arizona Senate.

Currently, 10 of the state’s 23 federally recognized tribes are licensed for mobile sports betting only by the Arizona Department of Gaming. Twenty sports betting licenses are available in the state, with half of those designated for Arizona’s tribes. The 10 non-tribal licenses allow both retail and mobile sports betting.

Bill Expands Opportunities For Arizona Tribes

Senator Sally Ann Gonzales filed SB 1674 on Monday. The bill wouldn’t just allow tribes with a valid tribal-state gaming compact to offer mobile sports betting, but also operate retail sports betting outside of tribal lands.

Tribes currently may offer retail sports betting on their tribal lands, but their locations, in some instances, may limit their earning potential. If SB 1674 becomes law, tribes could open retail sportsbooks on non-tribal land within five blocks of the state’s major sports stadiums.

All off-reservation retail sports betting locations would be under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Department of Gaming. Retail locations on tribal land are already permitted without approval of the state’s regulators, Gaming Today reports.

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Arizona Sports Betting Off To Fast Start

While Arizona’s sports betting handle declined 4% from October to November, the total handle for the first three months of legal sports betting was $1.244 billion, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

Sports betting in Arizona went live on Sept. 9, coinciding with the start of the NFL season. In addition to mobile sports betting platforms, there are eight retail sportsbooks in operation.

Caesars has a sportsbook at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. FanDuel has a sportsbook at the Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and the Arizona Rattlers.

The other six retail sportsbooks are at casinos located throughout the state. Additional retail sportsbooks are expected to open this year and next, including a BetMGM sportsbook at State Farm Arena — home of the Arizona Cardinals.

And if SB 1674 becomes law, the number of retail sportsbooks could experience a major growth spurt, dependent on the number of tribes looking to expand beyond tribal lands.

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