Arizona gaming regulator to award new sports betting licenses

Arizona Wagering Licenses
Image: Shutterstock / Dean Bertoncelj

Arizona will be providing a new sports betting operator with market access.

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has announced that it will begin accepting new applications for event wagering licenses starting in February. The regulator for tribal gaming, sports wagering, and racing in the Grand Canyon State will accept one wagering license for Arizona tribes and no less than one license for the state’s professional sports franchises.

House Bill 2772 — signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey in 2021 — allows Arizona to offer up to 20 event wagering licenses with 10 allocated toward tribes and the remaining toward sports franchises. As of January 2024, Arizona is home to 15 online sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and ESPN Bet — a rebrand of Barstool Sportsbook. Arizona is also a market for retail and online sports betting operators Desert Diamond, SaharaBets and Betfred.

The ADG will close the application window for wagering licenses on March 4.

Shuffling of operators in the Grand Canyon State

The ADG is accepting applications for wagering licenses amid a shakeup of the state’s operators.

In October 2022, Fubo Sportsbook announced plans to shutter operations in the state following a strategic review that found achieving profitability difficult. Fubo, which also had market access in Iowa and New Jersey, would be replaced by bet365 in Arizona with a wagering license available. Bet365 was awarded an Arizona license as an operator for the Ak-Chin Indian Community.  

WynnBET also exited the Arizona gaming market following a decision to downsize. In addition to Arizona, the Wynn Resorts-owned operator also ceased operations in New Jersey and Colorado.

TwinSpires became the latest sportsbook to leave Arizona when the Churchill Downs-owned operator closed its sports and online casino business in every state it had market access.

Arizona remains a promising sports betting market

A new operator will enter Arizona’s gaming market following favorable financial results in 2023.

Last October, bettors across the state wagered approximately $648 million — a 4.8% increase year-over-year. The results in October 2023 saw bettors pocket roughly $591 million in winnings.

DraftKings finished as the top online sportsbook in Arizona for October behind a $220.6 million mobile handle, while TwinSpires had the lowest handle with $77,099 in total wagers.