Arizona To Reopen Application Process to Fill Sports Betting License

Written by: Michael Savio
Published June 12, 2024
2 min read
Arizona To Reopen Application Process to Fill Sports Betting License

The Arizona sports betting market is about to get bigger.

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has announced that it will once again open the application process for sports betting operator licenses. The move comes after several small operators exited the state, leaving them with four open licenses. The ADG has promised that at least one license will be given to a pro sports franchise, while at least one will go to one of the state’s 22 federally recognized tribes. 

Two tribes, in particular, are expected to pursue a license to open online sportsbooks. The Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe initially partnered with Unibet but was forced to shut down the sportsbook when the operator exited the state earlier this year. There is also the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which found itself without an operating partner when WynnBet exited the market.

Three pro sports franchises, the Indoor Football League’s Northern Arizona Wranglers and Tucson Skulls and the USL’s Phoenix Rising FC, can apply for one of the state's remaining operating licenses. 

On top of the four operating licenses, SaharaBets will also be looking for a new licensing partner in the state. The online sportsbook is available in Arizona but is partnered with the Arizona Coyotes, who will be moving to Utah this offseason.

The ADG will be accepting applications until July 19.

Search For New Operators Could Be Difficult

While some teams and tribes are looking for licensing partners, major sportsbooks are already in the market. Even newcomers Fanatics and ESPN Bet live in the Copper State, meaning they’ll likely need some smaller or niche operators to apply for the four open licenses. 

The problem is that smaller operators are beginning to leave the industry. FanDuel and DraftKings own over 80% of the market share, with BetMGM, Caesars, ESPN Bet, BetRivers, and Fanatics taking up much of the rest. That leaves a tiny sliver left over for the rest of the industry to fight over, which makes the venture not worth it for many other operators.

Arizona’s 20 operating licenses make it one of the most crowded markets in the country.

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Michael Savio

Sports Betting Analyst

Gambling News
Online Sports Betting
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
3 years
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