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Arizona’s sports betting agreements are now official, as the federal government agreed to changes to the state’s compact with tribes in the area. Now, all that’s left is for rules to be finalized and the overseeing responsibilities of the AZ Dept. of Gaming to begin, with the full expectation that NFL bets will be available to Arizona by the time the season starts in September.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 was a piece of legislature giving tribal organizations the authority to offer gambling on their lands. The US Department of the Interior is the governmental body overseeing this authority, and as such must approve any changes to tribal compacts: these are agreements between independent tribes and the state governments where their land is located.
Once the US Department of the Interior agrees to changes to tribal compacts, these agreements are “published in the Federal Register”, which is a formalized process indicating that the agreements are in effect. The tribal compact changes built into HB 2772 have indeed made it to the pages of the Federal Register. Since Gov. Ducey already signed the bill into law, it is now officially recognized on the state and federal levels.
The torch has now been handed to the AZ Department of Gaming, who will be responsible for setting license requirements and approving eligible operators. Due to an emergency clause added to the text of HB 2772, the Dept. of Gaming was able to circumvent the typical waiting periods, and will now start setting license requirements, with the expectation that rules will be released sometime in June.
Once rules are released, the next thing is for operators to apply for licensing. This process typically takes a few months, which is why it’s good news that the Dept. of Gaming expects to be able to release rulesets and license requirements with enough time for operators to apply.
The text of the now-law HB 2772 sets the following provisions for sports betting in the Grand Canyon State:
10 mobile sports betting licenses to be split up between tribal interests
10 mobile sports betting licenses for commercial interests (including sports venues)
10 in-person (also called “retail” or “brick-and-mortar”) sports betting licenses
With all this in mind, expect DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars to be among the first to offer their sports betting services in the state. Barstool and WynnBET both have partnerships with NASCAR and may offer services through the Phoenix Raceway, but those agreements are a bit less certain. At any rate, with June as the start date for operators to apply, look forward to legal sports betting online in AZ by the time NFL season rolls around.
Chris Altman is a traveling writer and content specialist covering everything from betting to plane crashes. He has been working in sports betting, specifically legislation for some time now, covering industry developments and the legal landscape of sportsbooks in the U.S. Chris is also a published short story writer and zine editor. Email: [email protected]More info on Chris Altman
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