Arizona Senate takes a big step closer to legalized sports betting

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Arizona sports fans could be able to place legal sports bets before the close of the year following the passing this week of House Bill 2772. As a consequence, the state will be able to host as many as 20 mobile betting operators alongside in-stadium sportsbooks. Also included in the legislation is daily fantasy sports.

Governor Doug Ducey, a major proponent of the bill, may sign it into law this week, paving the way for Arizona gaming regulators to begin licensing sportsbooks in time for the onset of the 2021 football season.

The 20 licenses up for grabs would be split equally between tribal gaming operators and professional sports organizations in partnership with online gaming providers. While Arizona has circa 24 native tribes, not all will look to engage with legal sports betting. 

Tax has been set at 8% on revenue, with the Joint Legislative Budget Committee seeking an annual license fee of $150,000 for sportsbook operators. The Committee has stated that it anticipates raising approximately $34m in annual revenue based on the returns generated by other states.

Following Ducey’s expected sign-off this week, Arizona’s Department of Gaming will be required to approve additional rules and regulations as well as individual sportsbook licenses. responded to this week’s development, reporting: “Arizona’s young, growing population and teams in America’s most popular pro sports leagues should spark interest from all top sportsbook brands.”

It added that leading brands such as PointsBet, Caesars/William Hill, Barstool Sportsbook and many others will likely apply for licenses and concluded: “The legislative back-and-forth may have taken longer than Arizona sports bettors would have hoped for, but the state’s elected officials have now passed a major bill to permit online sports wagering in one of the more dynamic, growing US markets.”