Monday was a big day for the sports betting industry as Maryland and Arizona passed online sports betting. Arizona has been one of the major markets looking to push forward with legalization in 2021. That happened after the Senate passed HB 2772 23-6. Gov. Doug Ducey has been a proponent of sports betting and is likely to sign the bill. Daily fantasy sports were also included in the bill as Arizona was one of the few states that banned prize fantasy games. Both the Arizona government and native tribes have come together in agreement over the new compacts, which were set to expire in 2022. Arizona could see online sports betting and daily fantasy around the NFL season if all goes smoothly.
HB 2772 proposed 20 licenses, with ten of them going to tribal operators and the other ten going to Arizona professional sports teams. Both retail and mobile are included in the licenses. Multiple locations are also included under one license if it is tied to one tribe. There are currently very few professional sports arenas that hold a sportsbook license, making Arizona one of the early states to kick off this likely trend.
Daily fantasy sports and fantasy sports games that involve cash prizes will also be allowed under the bill. Prior, Arizona had banned daily fantasy sports due to the gaming compact with the tribes. Each state has its own regulations for college sports, and Arizona will allow sports betting on both in-state and out-of-state colleges.
The estimated annual taxable revenue projects around $155 million. However, rates and fees will still need to be finalized. This is going off the standard 8% tax. This bill will be attached to the Indian Gaming Compacts, which the two have come to agreements on over the last few months. Without the bipartisan showing, this bill would not have passed.
Operators In Arizona
Both FanDuel and DraftKings have been the popular sportsbooks to march right into newly legalized states, and Arizona should be no different. With a very open Arizona Market, both are expected to obtain licenses, alongside possible sportsbooks like BetMGM, Barstool, WynnBet, FoxBet, William Hill, and PointsBet.
Each sportsbook will either need to partner with a tribal casino or with a professional sports team. With ten licenses going to each of the tribal casinos and the professional sports teams in Arizona, there will be plenty of partnership opportunities. The Cardinals, Coyotes, and Diamondbacks will all get a license, but TPC Scottsdale and Phoenix Raceway could land a partnership as well.
When Will Online Betting Be Available?
This is always the big question when a state pushes through sports betting, and generally, the states legalize around this time of the year. Operators and the state will want to set the date to be at the beginning of the NFL season. Football has the largest draw and brings in the most money. The state will need to finalize and set up regulations and operator fees/taxes before anything gets moving. After that, licenses will need to be finalized and approved before any sort of registration can begin. There shouldn’t be any unforeseen hiccups over the next coming months to get everything finalized. Gov Doug Ducey has voiced his support and seems eager to get the ball rolling.
Arizona’s newly passed gaming compact is regulated and safe — and it preserves the culture of our great state. Thank you to @TJShopeforAZ, @JeffWeninger, our tribal partners, and everyone who helped lead the effort to get #SB1797 through the legislature. #HB2772
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 13, 2021