Inside The BetMGM Sportsbook at Santan Mountain Casino, The Largest Casino Sportsbook In Arizona

BetMGM opened the largest Sportsbook Casino in the state of Arizona on June 30th, signaling the brands’ continued dedication to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. The sportsbook is located at Gila River Resort & Casino at Santan Mountain (7101 Gilbert Rd, Chandler, AZ 85249). Starting this month (August 2023), the Sportsbook Casino will be open until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, offering everything from live betting to DJ sessions.

To talk about BetMGM’s continued growth in the retail sportsbook space and why many bettors prefer placing wagers in person, Lineups spoke with Matthew Smith — Marketing Manager for Gila Rivers Resorts & Casinos.

What To Expect From Santan Mountain’s New BetMGM Sportsbook

Reading through the BetMGM press release for the opening of the BetMGM Sportsbook at Santan Mountain, it’s clear that this isn’t an ordinary wagering experience. The entire space covers 7,000 square feet, and is now the largest retail sportsbook in the state of Arizona located at a casino.

As Matthew Smith told Lineups, “The BetMGM Sportsbook at Santan Mountain enhances any gaming experience with wall-to-wall TVs, Vegas-style odds boards, betting kiosks, an exclusive bar with table top games, private lounge seating, and a DJ Booth for special occasions!”

Additionally, the casino itself features 25 table games, over 800 slot machines, and an event space.

The DJ Booth And “Sportsbook After Dark”

While the size of the new retail sports betting spot from BetMGM certainly stands out, the option to check out the DJ space definitely sets the location apart from the competition.

Describing the unique addition, Smith said that, “We have been hosting DJs after the UFC fights and boxing events, we call it ‘Sportsbook After Dark’. Starting in August 2023 we will have a DJ in the booth every Friday and Saturday night from 9PM-1AM. The DJs can connect to the casino floor sound system and “take over” the music in the entire casino. This addition helps keep the energy going after the games are over.”

Opening Before The NFL Season

Santan Mountain Casino originally opened its BetMGM Sportsbook on June 30, 2023, just before the first half of the MLB season wrapped up heading into the All-Star Break. This also coincided with a surprise run for the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that is still in position to make a playoff run.

However, any sports bettor will tell you that football is king in the wagering world, and there will be plenty of football to watch soon in the Grand Canyon State. In college football, the Arizona State Sun Devils kick off their season on August 31st against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, while the Arizona Wildcats open up against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on September 2nd.

The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, hit the road for their first game of the regular season, a September 10th showdown with the Washington Commanders. There are plenty of popular teams in the state, and it will be interesting to see which squad sports bettors back the most.

Smith revealed his thoughts on which team is going to attract the largest betting handle at the new location: “It’s going to be a close call. Arizona is a melting pot, we have residents from all over the Midwest, California, Canada, and other regions. We get a lot of transplants that still support the team they grew up watching. Hopefully they’ll adopt their new home teams!”

Comparing Santan Mountain With State Farm Stadium

Since the launch of Arizona sports betting on September 8, 2021, BetMGM Sportsbook has launched numerous retail sportsbooks across the state. One of the most notable of these was the opening of the brick-and-mortar sportsbook located at State Farm Stadium, where the Arizona Cardinals host home games.

When comparing these two betting spots, Smith said that, “The BetMGM Sportsbook at Santan Mountain is the largest casino sportsbook in Arizona in terms of square footage. The advantage of having a sportsbook in a casino is the convenience. Guests can quickly and easily place a sports bet, go play blackjack for a little bit, go back to the book to catch some of the game, then try their luck on the slots, and collect their winnings before they leave. We are a one-stop shop for gaming and entertainment.”

What Makes Retail Sports Betting Special

Online sports betting definitely has its fans, as it allows sports fans to place wagers from their smartphone or tablet at home or on the go. However, as seen with this BetMGM Sportsbook opening, retail sports betting still has no shortage of fans.

Matthew Smith shed light on why placing wagers in person is so unique: “It’s the feeling! Mobile sports betting is convenient but nothing beats going to the retail sportsbook to place a bet. Walking into the book, surrounded by TVs, the roar of the crowd when a touchdown is scored, the texture of the ticket in your hand as you clench it during a nail-biter, collecting cold hard cash after you win. The experience can’t be matched!”

BetMGM Eyes Future Expansion

The opening of Arizona’s biggest casino sportsbook is big news for the growing BetMGM platform, but the sports betting operator isn’t stopping there. Recently, BetMGM announced a partnership with Revolutionary Racing, allowing it to launch online and retail sports betting into the Kentucky sports betting market this September.

This will lead to BetMGM Online Sportsbook rolling out in the Bluegrass State when the area rolls out mobile sports betting on September 28, 2023. However, retail sports betting will go live on September 7, 2023, the same day the NFL regular season kicks off.

This will allow BetMGM Sportsbook to partner with one of the horse racing tracks in the state, such as Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, Kentucky Downs, and Turfway Park Racing & Gaming.

Featured Image Photo Credit: BetMGM

Anthony Elio is the Lead Writer for, focusing on sports betting, online casino gaming, and horse racing. He covers state betting handles, sportsbook partnerships, operator news, and NHL picks. Outside of his work with LINEUPS, Elio has also written for Daily Fantasy Cafe, Innovation & Tech Today, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Residential Tech Today.

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