It won’t be long before sports fans will be able to visit some of the best Arizona sportsbooks to place a bet in person.
After a legislative session filled with potential roadblocks and delays, the House and Senate both voted to legalize sports wagering and Gov. Doug Ducey finalized the legalization in April 2021.
Now, both retail and mobile sportsbooks are on the horizon, with an expected launch date of September 9. But it’s tough to know how the scene will shape up and which books you should plan to visit first. This page will break down everything you need to know about retail sports betting in Arizona.
Live Sportsbooks In Arizona
At the moment, there aren’t any live and operating sportsbooks in Arizona. But 20 licenses will soon be awarded thanks to the passage of recent legislation. 10 of the licenses will go to tribal operators (though the tribes can apply a single license to multiple casino properties) while another 10 will go to professional sports teams or racing arenas.
As a result, we expect more than a dozen legal sportsbooks to be up and running as early as the fall of 2021. But note that no official start or launch dates have been announced. Retail and online sportsbooks are expected to launch in conjunction with one another. Sometimes it takes longer for retail sportsbooks to launch as they need to be built, either inside a tribal casino or at a professional sports stadium, like the Suns Arena.
For the latest on retail sportsbooks in Arizona, check out our guides:
Legal Sports Betting In Arizona
Legal sports betting has been a long time coming for Arizona residents. However, this gambling activity was finally legalized on April 15, 2021, when Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772. This bill and its Senate companion, SB 1797, set out legal rules and restrictions for Arizona’s future sports betting industry.
Furthermore, these bills were accompanied by an Arizona tribal compact, negotiating a settlement between the Native American tribes in the state and the official state government. The US Department of Interior approved the compact, paving the way for betting in Arizona.
Retail sportsbooks will open at racing arenas or sports venues, such as the Phoenix Raceway (home of some of the most popular NASCAR and IndyCar races), and at Native American casinos. Arizona does not have any commercial retail casinos.
Online sportsbooks will be allowed as well. Practically all types of sports wagers will be offered on these apps, including wagers on college games (even those involving in-state collegiate teams). There’s one minor restriction; Arizona sports bettors won’t be able to place prop bets on collegiate sporting events no matter which teams are involved.
Overall, however, Arizona’s future legal sports betting industry is looking to be deep and varied once it finally launches.
Sports Betting Partnerships In Arizona – Retail And Online Sportsbooks
In light of the recent sports wagering legislation, a number of partnerships have already been announced. Some of these partnerships will result in retail sportsbooks in Arizona.
For example, DraftKings quickly announced (even before sports betting was legalized) a partnership with the PGA Tour, both to offer mobile sports betting and to set up a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale. FanDuel followed shortly after, partnering with the Phoenix Suns Arena to offer retail and mobile sports wagering.
The most recently announced partnership came from Caesars Entertainment; this operator announced its intention to build a retail sportsbook outside Chase Field, the official home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Alongside retail sports wagering, Caesars will also provide mobile sports betting.
Beyond these announced partnerships, many other sportsbook operators may pursue licensure by partnering with either tribal casinos or other major sports franchises. Several of the most likely casinos to host sportsbooks include:
- Casino del Sol located in Tucson
- Fort McDowell Casino located in Fountain Hills
- Casino Arizona located in Scottsdale
- Harrah’s Ak-Chin located in Maricopa
- Desert Diamond Casino located in Chandler
Many other sports stadiums or professional venues may also pursue licensure by partnering with a sportsbook operator. Some of the arenas likely to pursue licensure include:
- Gila River Arena, which is the home of the Arizona Coyotes, Arizona’s NHL team
- State Farm Stadium, located in Glendale and the home of the NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals
We expect more partnerships to be announced over the coming months. Arizona’s state legislature is aiming to launch sports wagering on September 9, just in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season.
The Types Of Bets Taken At Sportsbooks In Arizona
Once mobile and retail sportsbooks launch in Arizona, bettors will be able to place a wide variety of bets with only one limitation (mentioned above).
Moneyline bets are the most common type of wager you can place on a sportsbook. These wagers involve betting on which team will win a match, plain and simple. Potential payouts/odds are a little higher for the underdog and are represented by a “+” symbol while payouts/odds for the favorite team to win are usually lower and are represented by a “-“ symbol.
Futures bets at Arizona sportsbooks will involve wagering on future events, such as the outcomes of tournaments or World Series. These bets are popular for major league championships, like March Madness bets, Super Bowl bets, or MLB World Series bets.
Prop or proposition bets are a popular wager type, especially for casual sports wagerers. With proposition bets, you don’t have to bet on which team will win a given match or how many points they will score.
You instead wager on whether a specific event will occur. Prop bets can be flexible and unique for this reason. For example, some prop bets might involve wagering on:
- Whether a baseball player will score a home run
- Whether a basketball player will score a three-pointer
- Whether a football player will make a touchdown
However, while prop bets will be allowed for all sports at Arizona sportsbooks, you won’t be able to place prop bets on any college games. This is just a minor downside as other states with legal sports betting industries, like New Jersey, have banned collegiate sports wagering entirely.
Spread bets involve “betting the spread” or betting that an underdog team will lose by less than a given amount of points or win a game, or by betting that a favorite team will win the game by more than a certain number of points.
Over/under bets involve betting on how many points will be scored in a single game between both teams. Bettors can wager that there will be more or less than the set amount of points given by the betting line.
Most Arizona sportsbooks will also likely allow you to place parlay bets. These are sequential bets that involve multiple successive wagers. If you want to win a parlay bet, you have to win every leg of the bet (get multiple wagers right in a row).
Arizona Sports Betting Guide
Arizona’s sports betting industry will likely be excellent immediately after launch. Here are some of the major things to keep in mind when preparing for your first bets.
Arizona Sports Betting Timeline
The first real legislation set to legalize sports wagering in Arizona came in 2019. However, there was significant opposition from Native American tribes in the state, which stalled progress on a prospective bill.
Discussion on sports wagering came to a standstill until the coronavirus pandemic. When this occurred, Arizona lost a ton of state revenue (as did many other states), but Arizona was particularly affected since travel and tourism have historically been big revenue sources for the state government.
As a result, various state leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey decided to look for new potential revenue streams. Sports wagering gained new importance as a result.
Sports betting legislation was nonetheless stuck in committee discussions until March 2021, when renewed legislative pushes brought sports wagering legalization to the forefront of debates. Eventually, both HB 2772 and SB 1797 were passed by Gov. Doug Ducey on April 15, 2021.
Furthermore, the Arizona tribes and state government reached a new compact in May 2021, removing the last bit of legislative roadblocks in the way to sports wagering legalization.
At this point, state regulators are currently working to set licensure fees and final tax rates, as well as determine the types of wagers that will be allowed in the state. The goal for Arizona is to launch sports wagering by the beginning of the NFL season, on September 9, to take advantage of significant new revenue streams.
The Arizona Department of Gaming is subject to a 60-day statutory requirement, during which time they have to draw up the rules for sports wagering. After 60 days, the public will be able to comment on the rules and request changes.
3 Most Popular Sports For Sports Bettors In Arizona
Arizona has several major professional sports franchises that call it home. The most popular sports in Arizona by far are baseball, basketball, and football, with the latter being especially important for Arizona residents.
Arizona’s MLB team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, was established in 1998. The Phoenix Suns, Arizona’s NBA team, was founded in 1968. The Arizona Cardinals, the state’s NFL team, has called Arizona home since 1988. Each of these sports teams has its own collection of fans and a dedicated sporting arena where they play their home games.
Each of these major arenas will likely host a retail sportsbook after partnering with a mobile operator. Depending on the sportsbook you choose to download, you may be able to enjoy special promotions or bonus betting opportunities during a given team’s major sports season.
3 Best Online Sports Betting Apps in Arizona
While there aren’t any online sports betting apps in Arizona at this time, we do know that several top dogs are certainly launching once they acquire licensure.
In our opinion, DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the best mobile sports betting apps in the industry, bar none. Both of these will be among the first to launch in Arizona before the end of the year in all likelihood.
DraftKings and FanDuel both provide phenomenal betting markets, player-friendly odds, and excellent opening bonuses that can provide new players with site credit or risk-free bet coverage. Both of these apps also have excellent interfaces and regular promotions to drive engaging wagers throughout most sports seasons.
We also expect BetMGM to join Arizona’s sports wagering industry as soon as possible. If this app acquires licensure, it’ll be another big player in the online sports betting scene. It includes a generous opening bonus, an excellent app optimized for mobile use, and live or in-play betting for all of its users.
Time will tell what the final online sportsbook roster looks like. But you can rest assured that these three options will be excellent choices whether you are a beginner or experienced sports wagerer.
Arizona Retail Sports Betting FAQs
You’ll be able to place sports bets from anywhere in the state using a mobile app or at a retail sports betting location, many of which will be found at sports arenas or Native American casinos.
Sports betting hasn’t yet begun in Arizona. But it is expected to begin on September 9, before the start of the NFL season.
Not yet. But many of the Native American casinos in the state will likely have at least one retail sportsbook location up and running over the next few years.
Once the retail sportsbooks are constructed, you’ll have to be 21 or older to enter and place wagers.
Yes. But the Arizona Department of Gaming is still finalizing the tax rate for mobile and retail sports wagers.
It will be, in all likelihood. Arizona is unlikely to limit in-game betting at its retail sportsbook locations.
Yes. In fact, you can already bet on horse racing at specified racetracks dotting the state.
Not yet, but it will. DraftKings has already partnered with TPC Scottsdale and the PGA Tour. It’s all but certain that it will be one of the first sportsbooks to launch on September 9.