As per Thursday 9/9, Arizona sports betting is up and running. The Arizona Department of Gaming planned to correspond the launch with the beginning of the NFL season. The industry went live at 12:01 AM local time on Thursday, as millions of sports fans gained the opportunity to gamble on sports.
Arizona sports betting launch details
Six operators were part of the launch at midnight on Thursday, including BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, WynnBET, and Unibet. In the coming weeks, Barstool Sportsbook and TwinSpires are accepted to join the industry.
Both platforms have secured market access in the state, so they are just implementing their final launch procedures. The market will grow quickly over the coming months as the Arizona Department of Gaming has issued licenses for 18 operators as of August 27, 2021.
Ten are partnered with tribal nations, and eight are paired with the state’s professional sports teams and venues. According to former legislation, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe was trying to limit professional sports teams’ ability to offer sports betting.
Nevertheless, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith ruled against the tribe shattering the one barrier around Arizona sports betting. There is possibly room for a lawsuit in the future because the tribes did not receive the same access to sports betting as the professional franchises. Yet, the market was able to launch, and teams can offer betting.
The launch was very successful because of the NFL opener between the Cowboys and Buccaneers on Thursday evening. This success will likely continue through the season, especially with wagers on the local NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals open their season in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.
A swift launch for Arizona sports betting
The Arizona legislature introduced House Bill 2772 in February. The legislation was sponsored by multiple Representatives like Jeff Weninger, Alma Hernandez, Ben Toma, Shawnna Bolick, Daniel Hernandez, Sonny Borrelli, Cesar Chavez, Jennifer Jermaine, Thomas Shope, David Cook, and Becky Nutt.
It passed with ease in the House and Senate before Governor Doug Ducey signed it into law on April 15. Ducey was always a proponent of betting, which was evident in his speech after signing the legislation.
He said, “This represents the most significant changes in almost two decades, a truly historic event. This compact amendment and associated legislation continue and build on the success that the tribal-state partnership has provided for decades. We can call this a win-win-win for the tribes, the state, and the taxpayers.”
Ducey wanted legal sports betting because of the money the industry could generate. By the 2024 fiscal year, there have been estimates that the state could receive between $30 and $35 million in tax revenue.
The Arizona Department of Gaming has projected that sports betting will give $34 million annually to the state’s General Fund. This number corresponds with an estimate from Dennis Hoffman, an economics professor at Arizona State University.
He thinks sports betting could generate $200 million in business activity, resulting in $30 million in taxes. The opening month numbers will give an indication if this is accurate.