Is Sports Betting Legal in Arizona?
Arizona is in a very interesting place when it comes to the legalization of sports betting. There are a lot of incentives for the state and, perhaps most importantly, for the Native American tribes that run all of the state’s casinos to get involved. Bordering Nevada obviously increases the likelihood that legislation is passed to legalize sports wagering, as the state simply loses too much money to north in Las Vegas, Primm, and other border towns that have casinos with sportsbooks.
Interestingly enough, the state seems to have been mobilizing for this vote for quite some time, as you’ll read in some of the articles linked below. Arizona already has the casino infrastructure in place to adopt a relatively swift plan of attack. The state works closely with the Native American tribes through the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact and both seems seem rather excited with the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down PASPA, which previously made it illegal to bet on sports.
Not only does Arizona have a lot of casinos already in place, but the state also has racetracks. Racetracks really do seem like the most logical places for sportsbooks or betting terminals, simply by design. It is worth acknowledging that daily fantasy sports remain illegal in Arizona.
But, you certainly don’t want to cash your proverbial ticket too soon, as you’ll read in these recent stories. The outlook is very good, but the timeframe is a little bit harder to decipher.
News Stories About Betting in Arizona
Tucson.com reported via Capitol Media Services that the ruling was welcomed with open arms by Governor Doug Ducey and it seems like the Native American tribes will be on board. Attorney Steven Hart is quoted in the link as saying that the Navajo Nation would be “very interested” in sports betting.
An article quoting some of the same people at AZCentral by Bree Burkitt and Dustin Gardiner pointed out what many have long said about how sports betting is already happening, it is relatively easy to do, and it’s time to get a cut.
News 4 Tucson had a segment on legalized sports betting on May 30 that noted how far behind Arizona is relative to some of the other states in the country.
The odds are pretty good that we see something in Arizona within the next five years. Current agreements between the state and the Native American tribes run out in 2022, so we should see legislation to cover the lawmaking side over the next couple of years so that a plan can be put in place when the next set of negotiations between the states and the tribes commence.