How To Bet On Sports In Arizona

Arizona recently legalized sports wagering in April 2021. Thanks to a new agreement between the Arizona state government and various Native American tribes, sports wagering will launch in both retail and online capacities once the details are finalized. The state government is aiming for an Arizona sports betting launch on September 9, just in time for the 2021 NFL season. 

Furthermore, the Arizona Department of Gaming is currently working under the gun to finish its initial drafts of rules and regulations before its 60-day statutory requirement.

Due to the passage of both HB 2772 and SB 1797, 20 licenses in total will be awarded to different operators. Ten of the licenses will go to tribal operators exclusively, and tribes can apply a single license to multiple properties if they desire.

The remaining 10 licenses will be awarded to professional sports teams, meaning sportsbooks will need to partner with professional sports franchises if they hope to get a foothold in this state. Several sportsbooks have already partnered with various teams or franchise stadiums to get a jump on licensure.

Let’s take a closer look at how you’ll be able to place sports bets in Arizona.

Where Can You Bet On Sports In Arizona?

Both online and retail sports betting are due to launch September 9. However, online and retail sportsbooks will need to share the same total of 20 licenses between them, so it’s currently unknown how many will be retail versus how many will be mobile-only.

It’s likely that many of the approved operators will provide both retail and mobile sportsbook options rather than separate companies providing either type of experience.

Online Sportsbooks

Online sportsbooks will likely partner with tribal casinos and various sports franchises. For example, DraftKings has already partnered with the PGA Tour at TPC Scottsdale, so expect their mobile platform to provide plenty of golf-focused promotions and special offers (especially during the golfing season).

We also expect several other big online sportsbooks to pop up in Arizona because the state is scheduled to host the 2023 Super Bowl. If this pans out, Arizona will soon have a fully functional sports betting market plus a wide selection of mobile sportsbooks up and running, providing the state government with tons of new revenue.

In total, we expect a variety of big operators to throw their hats in the ring when it comes to online licensing, including DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, BetRivers, Points Bet, FoxBet, and more.

Retail Sportsbooks

Retail sportsbooks will be split between the tribal casinos (of which there are 26 in total across the state) and several other sporting venues and arenas. For example, the Phoenix Raceway has already reserved a license, as this location currently hosts NASCAR and IndyCar races. TPC Scottsdale and Phoenix Suns Area, home of the Phoenix Suns, have also both pursued licensure.

As far as the tribal casinos, we expect several to pursue licensure soon. These casinos include:

  • Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Maricopa
  • Gila River in Laveen
  • Casino Arizona in Scottsdale
  • Casino del Sol in Tucson
  • And more

Popular Bets To Make In Arizona

Arizona is no stranger to massive sporting events and is home to several teams that play in all four major American professional leagues, including the MLB, NHL, NFL, and NBA. Popular teams in Arizona include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, Phoenix Suns, and Arizona State Sun Devils.

We expect some of the most popular sports bets in Arizona to include futures bets for big tournaments, like March Madness or the World Series. 

Fortunately, Arizona’s sports betting industry will permit betting on college games. This includes collegiate sporting events and teams that take place in-state. It’s a great sign for experienced sports bettors that want this industry to be a little more relaxed compared to the restrictive laws in New Jersey.

However, proposition bets on college games will not be allowed whatsoever (more on that below).

What Kinds Of Bets Can You Place In Arizona Sportsbooks?

Once retail and online sportsbooks launch in Arizona, players will be able to place several different types of wagers. Moneyline wagers are one common bet and only require players to bet on the outcome of a game: which team will win or lose?

But all sportsbooks will also offer other wager types, including:

  • Totals bets, where players wager whether or not both teams’ scores combined will reach a certain threshold
  • Spread bets, where players wager whether a certain team will score above or below a point threshold
  • Parlay bets, which involve making several isolated bets together in a combined string bet for a potentially massive payout

In-play bets are also likely to be big in Arizona’s sports betting industry. In-play bets are provided by most major sportsbooks these days and they allow you to make wagers using dedicated betting markets that leverage odds that are updated on the fly by automated algorithms.

In-play betting allows experienced sports wagerers to take part in the action in a new way, especially since many major sportsbooks include live streaming. On these sports betting apps, players will be able to watch the action unfold on their mobile device and place a wager right as big plays are being made.

Just be mindful of which sportsbook you download, however; not all apps currently provide live or in-play betting.

What Are Futures Bets?

Futures bets are going to be popular in Arizona, and for good reason. These bets provide some of the highest potential payouts of all wagers since players can put their money down early and benefit from the odds being stacked against them further than usual.

Futures bets involve betting on the outcome of a future event like a tournament or championship. World Series bets are a popular example. Players will be able to place futures bets on tournament outcomes, game outcomes, and even the overall performance of certain players, such as which player will win the “MVP” award for the 2022 baseball season.

How To Place Prop Bets Using Arizona Sportsbooks

Prop or proposition bets are popular wagers to make across the country. Unlike most other bets, which revolve around betting that a team will win or lose or betting about a certain score threshold, prop bets involve wagering on a specific or isolated event in a game.

For example, popular prop bets include betting on whether a player will shoot a three-pointer in basketball, whether a player will score a touchdown in football, or whether a player will make a home run in baseball.

Prop bets are fun and flexible, especially for newcomers who may not know how to read or gauge betting lines and odds for full game outcomes or points totals.

There’s one minor quibble with Arizona’s sports wagering legislation, however. Prop bets on collegiate games will not be allowed. Fortunately, you’ll be able to place prop bets in Arizona on all other sporting events.

How Sports Betting Odds Are Calculated In Arizona

Arizona’s sports betting industry will use the same line-making algorithms and statisticians as other states. This will result in player-friendly odds with a good potential for profit no matter which side of a bet you decide to take.

For example, a typical moneyline wager (where you bet on the outcome of a single game) might have odds set at +110 for the favorite team to win the match and -110 for the underdog. In short, these odds indicate that you would need to wager $110 when betting on the favorite team to win $100 or wager $100 on the underdog team to potentially win $110.

In this way, the underdog odds for any Arizona sports match will be riskier but offer a potentially higher payout. All licensed sportsbooks in Arizona will use official league data when formulating their betting lines.

Experienced sports bettors may also wish to shop around between different sportsbooks, checking out each book’s betting lines for the same event to determine which one offers the best potential payout.

How To Bet On Sports In Arizona

Arizona will not require in-person registration, so the process should be pretty straightforward no matter which sportsbook you plan to use.

  • First, download the sportsbook of your choice through the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store depending on your mobile device’s operating system. Note that only some mobile sportsbooks are available through Google Play Store
  • Install the mobile app on your phone or tablet. Geolocation software will be installed as well to prevent you from placing a wager outside the state
  • Register an account by opening the app and providing some personal information, which will be verified remotely over a few minutes
  • Then you can fund your account using credit or debit card transfers or other deposit methods. The exact methods available to you will depend on the book you choose to download
  • Once you’ve funded your account, you’ll be able to navigate through your chosen sportsbook and place a wager on any betting lines you find

If you decide to visit a retail sportsbook, all you have to do is show up in person and bring some ID and cash. The ID is necessary as you’ll need to prove you’re 21 years of age or older to either step inside a casino or to step inside the physical sportsbook premises if you visit a book Many of the approved operators will likely be available at a sports arena.

Arizona Sports Betting Partnerships

Several prospective Arizona sportsbook operators have already made inroads when it comes to partnerships.

For example, DraftKings has already partnered with PGA Tour and plans to construct a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale. In addition, this operator will likely push to acquire licensing for its mobile app, as it’s one of the most popular in the entire industry.

DraftKings’ big competitor, FanDuel, isn’t far behind. This operator also already revealed that it wants to build its own retail sportsbook where the Phoenix Suns play, Phoenix Suns Arena. It’s not yet known whether the Phoenix Raceway will partner with anybody, but it’s highly likely.

Most recently, Caesars Entertainment has announced its intention to build a retail sportsbook outside Chase Field. 

These are just a handful of the partnerships we expect to be announced over the coming months, making it easy for you to bet on sports in Arizona. Remember, every prospective sportsbook operator in Arizona needs a partner with either a tribal casino or a professional sports franchise.

Arizona Sports Betting FAQs

Is it legal to bet on sports in Arizona right now?

Yes, but there aren’t any legal books for you to do so. You have to wait until the industry launches in order to place a wager legally. The official launch date is expected to be September 9.

Which sportsbook will likely have the best odds in Arizona?

That’ll probably be one of the bigger sportsbook operators, like FanDuel or DraftKings, but it’s always a good idea to shop around.

Will live or in-play betting be available in Arizona?

Undoubtedly, especially since there isn’t any legislation banning this type of wagering at all.

Where can Arizona residents bet on sports?

From anywhere in the state if they use a mobile app or at a sports arena or casino if they want to enjoy a retail sportsbook.

Will all sportsbooks in Arizona offer the same sports betting markets?

Most sportsbooks will offer most of the same markets, but not all. Expect some minor variations between different operators.

Are sports really popular in Arizona?

Absolutely. The state maintains several professional franchises across all major sports leagues. Each team has its own small army of fans, too.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of ArizonaCasinos.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber writes for a number of online sites including the food and lifestyle site Food And Drink Destinations.