Wave the checkered flag, the race for legal sports betting in Arizona is finished. On April 12th, 2021, the Arizona state senate passed HB 2772 by a 23-6 margin, approving both online and retail sports betting in the state. There was a lot of uncertainty in the build up, but ultimately it all came together pretty quickly. An ally of the effort, Gov. Doug Ducey put pen to paper just a few days later on April 15th. Legal, regulated online sports betting is on the way to Arizona.
Curious about future Arizona mobile sportsbooks? Keep reading – we’ll catch you up on everything there is to know about Arizona’s new legislation and the kind of market sports bettors can expect in the state. We’ll talk about when betting will be available, how it became legal, which sportsbooks you’ll be able to bet with, eligibility requirements, promotions, and more.
Key Arizona sports betting info
Now that Arizona sports betting is a confirmed reality, let’s dig in to core details that will shape the state’s market. Let’s start with who can bet:
Arizona sports betting, both online and retail, will be available to anyone over the age of 21. Some smaller states have elected to lower that number to 18, but AZ is holding steady with the status-quo. It’s the same age restriction that exists for the majority of gambling throughout the country, including Arizona’s existing tribal casinos.
So, what else? All legal Arizona online sports bets need to be placed inside the state. To bet with an AZ book, you must be in Arizona. Let’s say you venture up to the northeast corner of the state and visit the four corners – the only place in the country where four states touch. If you’re standing in Arizona you’re good to go. Place your bets. Cross into New Mexico? No dice. Shift into Colorado? Yea, you can bet in Colorado, but you’ll need to use a Colorado online sportsbook, not one licensed in Arizona. Finally, Utah… yea, you can’t bet in Utah. If you’re not standing in a legal-to-bet state, you’re out of luck.
Arizona online sportsbooks will use geolocation tech that will be able to use your mobile device’s internal GPS chip to pinpoint your location. If your phone knows where you are while using Google maps, it can also place you and confirm your location for sports betting. If you’re betting on a computer, a separate plugin download will be required. Don’t fret though, this technology is utilized in every state that has regulated iGaming. From the users perspective it’s easy to use, and gets the job done.
Arizona sports betting law
What exactly is in Arizona’s sports betting law? Let’s recap.
- 20 total sports betting licenses will be up for grabs
- Up 10 will be associated with professional sports franchises or facilities
- Up to 10 will be associated with federally recognized tribes located in-state
- Each license allows brick-and-mortar betting and one online skin (or “brand”)
- Each pro sports team will be allowed one primary sportsbook on-premises, and a second “adjacent” location near by
- Betting on college sports, including Arizona college sports, is permitted. Fans of the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils can rejoice.
- College prop bets on individual performances are not permitted. For example, a Wildcats player to score 12+ points in a basketball game.
- Conversely, you can bet on seasonal performance and awards, like the Heisman Trophy
- The Arizona Department of Gaming will serve as the regulatory body for sports betting
- The AZ Department of Gaming will determine the tax rate, application fees, renewal fees, etc. We’ll keep you posted as they are settled.
Arizona online sportsbooks: Looking ahead
Now that Arizona has moved forward with legal sports betting there will be plenty of questions surrounding which bookmakers will acquire access to the state. Even though the ink isn’t dry on its wagering bill, partnership agreements are already taking hold in the Grand Canyon State with many of the industry’s top operators finding a way in. Here’s what we know about Arizona online sportsbooks:
|Online Sportsbook||AZ License Partner||AZ Retail Partner||Launch Date|
|BetMGM||Gila River Indian Community||Gila River Hotel & Casinos Lone Butte, Vee Quiva, and Wild Horse Pass||TBD|
|FanDuel||Phoenix Suns (NBA)||Phoenix Suns Arena||TBD|
|William Hill||Ak-Chin Indian Community||Harrah's Ak-Chin||TBD|
BetMGM, Gila River Indian Community rumors circulate
The word on the street is that BetMGM will be bringing its sports betting service to Arizona through a licensing deal with the Gila River Indian Community. Though it’s not official yet, BetMGM would be able to offer online sports betting services to users throughout the state in addition to providing retail options for patrons of the three Gila River Casinos located in Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte, and Vee Quiva. It’s an ideal partner for BetMGM as the tribe and its retail casinos are well positioned within the state, with a great presence in the Phoenix area.
DraftKings, PGA, TPC Scottsdale
One of the year’s most exciting PGA Tour stops is getting even better. DraftKings and the Professional Golfers’ Association will be teaming up in Arizona to provide online sports betting, and a memorable “19th Hole” style retail betting facility at TPC Scottsdale. In the DraftKings press release they referred to it as both a “first-of-its-kind” and a “one-of-a-kind” sports betting experience. We’re intrigued.
TPC Scottsdale hosts the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open each February. The iconic 16th hole is known as the loudest hole in all of golf, and is the namesake for the ‘Stadium Course’. Completely encompassed by stadium-like grandstands, more than 20,000 raucous golf supporters can gather together to watch their favorite players. Now, mix in a state of the art sports betting facility and the patron experience is leveling up once again.
FanDuel partners with the Phoenix Suns
The NBA‘s Phoenix Suns agreed to a partnership with the daily fantasy sports and sports betting giant FanDuel. FanDuel Sportsbook will accept online bets from users throughout Arizona, and will also establish a retail sportsbook in-person at the Phoenix Suns Arena. The 18,000+ capacity stadium is conveniently located right in downtown Phoenix, and looks set to become one of the first in-arena betting venues in the country. Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. became the first such stadium-sportsbook hybrid, opening in July 2020 with help from William Hill.
William Hill to enter through Caesars, Harrah’s Ak-Chin
Caesars Entertainment purchased UK bookmaker William Hill for a sizable $3.7 billion (with a b!) in September 2020. The William Hill brand has since served as Caesars primary iGaming brand for both legal sports betting and casino operations. Thus, wherever Caesars has property – William Hill has a way in.
Caesars operates the Ak-Chin Indian Community-owned Harrah’s Ak-Chin casino, located south of Phoenix. William Hill will offer a full compliment of in-person and online betting options for Arizonans from the Maricopa-based facility.
Who else could offer sports betting in AZ?
With room for twenty sportsbooks, there’s plenty of room for new players to join the Arizona party. WynnBET would be a natural partner for the Phoenix Raceway. Wynn has already set up shop in Virginia through an agreement with NASCAR and its in-state tracks. Other leading bookmakers like PointsBet, FOX Bet, BetRivers, theScore Bet, and Barstool Sportsbook are also likely to seek a presence in the state.
Arizona sports teams
As mentioned, Arizona has allotted ten licenses for its pro sports franchises and venues. They don’t have 10 teams yet so it may take a while for the state to reach max capacity. As it stands, the following pro teams and sites are eligible to establish a betting partner:
- Arizona Cardinals (NFL)
- Phoenix Suns (NBA) – Partnered with FanDuel
- Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
- Phoenix Raceway (NASCAR)
- TPC Scottsdale (PGA) – Partnered with DraftKings
- Phoenix Rising (MLS) – Rumored as a candidate for MLS expansion
Thus, Arizona legislators have left some room for both the state’s pro sports lineup, and its arsenal of sportsbooks to grow.
Banking: fund your Arizona sports betting account
Since we’re still in the pre-market phase we don’t have an exact list of deposit and withdrawal options that are available in the state of Arizona. However, we know enough about iGaming in the U.S. to provide an adequate summary of the potential picks. Other states with regulated sports betting lean heavily on eWallets, credit cards, bank transfers, and even in-person cash deposits. Including:
- ACH/eCheck – Provide your bank name, account number and routing number, and you can instantly transfer money through an online check. The sportsbook platform will prompt you through the transaction.
- PayPal – If you’ve engaged in eCommerce of any kind over the years you’re probably well versed in how PayPal works. You add funds to your PayPal balance through a variety of methods and can instantly transfer that balance to your favorite online book, and back.
- Debit Cards – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express debit/credit cards. The latter two are far less available, but virtually all sportsbooks accept some form of debit card for deposits.
- Online Bank Transfer – You can set up an online bank transfer in a few minutes and effortlessly move your cash to and from a sportsbook. If your bank offers an ‘online bill pay’ feature, you’re good to go.
- Prepaid Play+ Cards – Most online bookmakers have their own branded card that’s essentially a prepaid debit. You add cash to it, and can use it to deposit/withdraw from the site. They’re extremely easy and quick to use.
- Cash at the Casino Cage – Arizona online sportsbooks will be tied to a physical sports venue or tribal casino. Users that visit one of these locations in-person are likely to be able to fund their account by presenting cash right at the cashiers window. But check with the sportsbook first for availability of this method.
- PayNearMe – Another cash-friendly option for the bettor that isn’t close to a retail sportsbook. PayNearMe partners with local retail stores like 7Eleven, CVS, or even Family Dollar. PayNearMe sends you a barcode and you bring it to the register at a participating store. They’ll ring you up right at the register, accept your cash, and you’re betting online in minutes. It’s pretty cool.
- Paper Check – Get your funds the old fashioned way. Some sportsbook operators will cut you a paper check and ship it out through the mail. It’s not fast, but again, it’s simple and familiar.
Importantly, every deposit and withdrawal method chosen for use in the state of Arizona will be vetted intensely for guaranteed safety. Your money is safe when using a government approved Arizona online sports betting site.
Arizona’s sports betting timeline
Now that Arizona has a sports betting law on in the books, the big questions shifts to when. When will legal sports betting officially launch in Arizona? While we don’t know for sure, the state looks to be targeting a fall 2021 launch. Football season is unquestionably the busiest time of year for betting, so if at all possible, a late 2021 rollout would make a lot of sense for the industry. However, it’s not quite as easy as you might expect. The Arizona Department of Gaming will need to set rules, fees, taxes, and operators will need to make arrangements of their own for AZ action.
Based on precedent in other states that have walked the walk, Fall ’21 seems an ambitious, but ultimately realistic target. Both Colorado and Indiana were able to transition from signing a bill into law, to a legal, regulated online industry in less than six months – a feat that Arizona may try to duplicate. States like Illinois and Virginia took closer to nine months, which would still put parts of football season in play. We will undoubtedly know more as Arizona moves forward. We’ll update you accordingly.
Gambling history in Arizona
Gambling isn’t new for Arizona. It was an early adopter for the lottery, with the Arizona Lottery getting underway in 1980. A few years later the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 shook things up even further. The state’s tribes started offering slots at their on-reservation casinos shortly after, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
There was an interesting standoff in 1992 where the Arizona government put forth new rules that required each tribe have a compact (an agreement) with the state before offering slots. As a result, the FBI raided several tribal casinos and confiscated their machines. One casino, Fort McDowell, didn’t go quietly, blocking the removal and instigating a several-week stalemate. Ultimately the situation was resolved as compacts between the state and the tribes were signed throughout the coming years. With tribal Compacts in place, casino gaming was officially established in the state.
More than 20 casinos are now active and accepting wagers on tribal land in Arizona. However, they aren’t full-fledged, Vegas-like establishments. They could spread some games, like blackjack, but not everything they wanted. That is, until now…
The path to Arizona online sports betting
Over the course of the next couple of decades, not a ton changed on the Arizona gambling landscape. However, in 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court finally agreed to hear New Jersey‘s challenge of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA had served as the primary road block for legal sports betting in the United States for more than 25 years. In May 2018 the high court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, opening the door for states like Arizona to pursue legal sports betting. Thus began the state’s three year journey to legalization.
Arizona government, state tribes agree to compromise
Ultimately, Arizona would need to reach an effective compromise with local tribes to have any hope of passing sports betting legislation. Any effort to allow gaming off-reservation would be met with staunch resistance, and would be unable to move forward. However, there was a compromise to be made. Arizona tribes were seeking to expand… and not just with their retail spaces, but also with their gaming libraries. They wanted to be able to popular games such as craps, roulette, and other previously prohibited games.
As such, tribal representatives agreed to forgo their total monopoly on gaming in the state. For sports betting they OK’d the 10 tribal licenses / 10 pro sports team license split in exchange for the requested casino expansions. It was a win for all.
Moving through committee
The proposed 2021 bill faced resistance in the appropriations committee. Committee chair Senator Dave Gowan was hoping to move forward with a rival bill that included historical horse racing. For those unfamiliar, historical horse racing machines are a lot like slot machines, which sent up red flags across the board for tribal interests. While they agreed to compromise on non-tribal sports betting, they would never agree to cede slot-like action to off-reservation establishments.
State Senator T.J. Shope was instrumental on moving the needle and helping the bill through the pivotal appropriations committee. With great effort and a few important conversations, he was able to finesse the originally proposed legislation through without the historical horse racing component.
Arizona legalizes sports betting in 2021
The Arizona state senate brought the proposed legislation to a vote on April 12, 2021. Despite passionate resistance from Senator Sally Ann Gonzales, HB 2772 passed convincingly by a 23-6 margin. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on April 15, 2021, setting the stage for Arizona’s new sports betting industry. Legislators are hopeful that retail and online sports betting options will be available in the state by the beginning of football season. Go Cardinals.
Arizona Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Arizona?
Yes it is! Governor Ducey signed the state’s sports betting bill into law on April 15, 2021. While sports betting is now legal, it will take some time for licensed bookmakers to arrive in the state. We’ll keep you posted.
When will online sports betting be available in Arizona?
While we don’t know for sure, fall 2021 is our current estimate. Now that Governor Ducey has signed the bill, AZ can start moving forward with setting up rules and infrastructure. It’ll be a busy period, but based on precedent in other states online books could be live by the fall.
What is the legal betting age in Arizona?
Twenty-one. Virtually all states have moved forward with 21+ sports betting legislation and Arizona will be the same.
Do I have to be in Arizona to place a bet?
Yes you do. If you’re not located in the state of Arizona you won’t be able to wager with a licensed Arizona online sportsbook.
How many online sportsbooks will be available in Arizona?
Up to twenty! The state has approved ten sports betting licenses for in-state tribes, and ten for in-state pro sports teams.
Will sports betting bonuses be offered in Arizona?
Absolutely. With room for up to 20 sportsbooks in Arizona, there will be plenty of juicy promos waiting for bettors. Once the market launches we’ll keep you up to date on all of the best offers. This includes first deposit match bonuses, risk-free bets, free bets, and more.
How do online sportsbook deposits work?
They’re actually really easy. Arizona online sportsbooks will offer a variety of methods. From bank transfers, to eWallets like PayPal, to in-person cash deposits. Adding money to, and cashing out from your account will be quick and painless.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports legal in Arizona?
Daily Fantasy Sports are now legal in Arizona, too. Legislators approved DFS at the same time that they chose to move forward with sports betting.
Will Arizona offer Responsible Gambling resources?
Absolutely. All Arizona online sportsbooks will be required to offer significant responsible gaming protections. Setting limits for bet sizing, deposits, time spent, etc. will be built in to each Arizona sports betting app. Plus, self exclusion will be available across the board for self-imposed bans.