Arizona is another step closer to legal sports betting, and this was the final legal step that needed to happen. The US Department of Interior has been reviewing a new gaming compact signed by tribal leaders and Governor Doug Ducey, and it has given its stamp of approval.
This new gaming compact was submitted to the US Department of Interior on April 16, and that group had up to 45 days to make a decision. It took a little over a month for the final verdict, and it will allow Arizona to begin the application and licensing process.
Governor Ducey signed the compact on April 15, and that was the last official piece of business that needed to be done in Arizona. Lawmakers in Arizona helped to negotiate the process as well as pass a law that would make the industry legal.
House Bill 2772 was the bill that helped get sports betting legal in Arizona, and it was the result of many months of debate. Residents in the state-supported the new industry, but it took lawmakers some time to hash out initial details.
This new gaming compact has been discussed for close to five years, but the topic of sports betting was recently added. Tribes in Arizona saw the benefits of the industry after seeing it offered in other states throughout the country.
September Launch the Target
Lawmakers and tribal leaders in Arizona have made it clear that they hope to launch sports betting by the start of September. This would give sportsbooks some time to adjust and make any final improvements before the start of the 2021 NFL season.
The US sports betting industry is driven by all four of the major professional sports, but it is the NFL that is by far the biggest betting market. The fact that Arizona has a professional team, the Cardinals, should help get the state off to a big start.
Rules Still in Progress
The Arizona Department of Gaming is still working on drafting rules that will be used to govern the industry when it first launches. Once the rough draft is complete, experts in the sports betting industry will share their input with the Department of Gaming.
All of the feedback must be submitted within 60 days, and that will allow changes to be made before the final rules are submitted. This will be the final step that is taken before sportsbooks are able to offer bets.
Connecticut and Florida Could be Next
Now that the Office of Indian Gaming has signed off on the Arizona gaming compact, it will begin reviewing similar deals in both Connecticut in Florida. Connecticut is expected to have a decision soon, while Florida might not get an answer until sometime in July.
Connecticut should be a done deal, as well as the negotiations between the tribes and Governor Ned Lamont were seamless. The OIG will have an interesting decision when it comes to Florida, and there could be lawsuits filed that delay the process.