Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Arizona?
No. Right now online sports betting is not legal in Arizona.
However, that may not be the case for too much longer. In May of 2018 The Supreme Court of the United States overturned a bill that prohibited almost all of the states from offering legal and regulated sports betting. The decision of whether to legalize sports betting is now in the hands of each individual state.
Since the SCOTUS decision plenty of states have made considerable headway in legalizing sports betting and online sports betting. In fact, some states had regulated sports betting up and running within just months.
Right across the US, sports betting is becoming more popular, common and legal. With Las Vegas literally only a few miles from the Arizona border and plenty of states in the south considering how to take advantage of the emerging billion-dollar industry, Arizona looks like a prime candidate to get on board.
In this guide to sports betting laws in Arizona we’ll tell you all about what the recent Supreme Court decision means for the state and what the current legal landscape looks like. We also dig into the history of betting in the state, as well as what we can expect the future holds for regulated sports betting in Arizona.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Arizona
Monday the 14th of May, 2018 is a day that will live long in the memories of all sports betting fans across the United States. On that day, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Since it was signed into effect in 1992, PASPA had made sports betting illegal in almost all of the states across the US. However, after it was repealed, the question of legalized sports betting was placed in the hands of each state. This includes Arizona.
Sports betting is popular all across the US, it’s just not legally regulated. The repeal of PASPA has created a pathway for every state to enter this multibillion-dollar industry.
What Have Other States Done Since SCOTUS Decision?
Many states have already made considerable headway in the legalization process, some even legalizing it fully, including some of Arizona’s closest neighbours.
To the east, New Mexico launched its first sports bets in October, 2018, with more options expected to arrive soon. To the West, California is a little further behind but is already preparing a referendum on the subject.
Arizona has not made any of those kind of moves, but the Copper state will be anxious not to get left behind in this emerging industry.
What Does This Mean For Arizona?
The relaxation of sports betting laws across the US and the way different states are reacting to it gives Arizona a really clear look at its options. States that have introduced legalized sports gambling have already started reaping the financial benefits.
One reason some states have avoided moving towards legalization so far is that they don’t have a culture of gambling. This isn’t the case with Arizona. With racing, the state lottery and tribal casinos already a part of the state’s culture, sports betting definitely doesn’t have the negative connotation that it has in some other parts of the country.
Currently, the sports betting options in Arizona basically amount to travelling to a neighbouring state. As for online sports betting, this is possible in the state, but not strictly legal. Residents in Arizona can bet online using unregulated sportsbooks that are hosted offshore, but it is not without risks.
We recommend waiting for fully regulated online sports betting to make sure you and your money stay 100% safe. As sports betting becomes normalized across the US, you can expect more legal online betting options to open up soon.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Arizona
Even though you can practically see the bright lights of Las Vegas, the world capital of sports betting, from the Arizona state line, sports betting both online and offline has always been illegal in the state. That is not to say there is no tradition of gambling, however.
Gambling on horse racing and dog racing are both legal in Arizona, but there are restrictions. Arizona also has a state lottery, which has been in operation since 1982, with funds generated from the lottery going to public development in the state. So while Arizona residents may not have the betting-mad attitude of their neighbours in Nevada, they are no strangers to some casual gambling.
As well as the horses, dogs and lottery Arizona has a number of tribal casinos which are regulated by The Arizona Department of Gaming. Unfortunately, sports betting is not permitted at the tribal casinos either. This means that although there is a history of gambling in the state, there is not yet a culture of sports betting outside of casual bets between friends.
In the past, if you wanted to bet on sports in Arizona, your best bet was to make the trip over the state line to Nevada. Online sports betting has never been legal, with the only option being unregulated offshore accounts. Sports fans in Arizona are hoping that more options open up soon in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Arizona?
Right now, no online sports betting sites are legal in Arizona. The only options are unregulated offshore sites, which are not strictly legal.
However, chances are this won’t be the case forever. Check back on this page for more details in the future as the situation changes.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Arizona?
Right now, outside of Tribal casinos, horse and dog racing is the only kind of betting available in Arizona. This is a good alternative while sports betting remains illegal. However, daytime horse racing and dog racing are not allowed to take place in the same county, so even the laws around those are a little restrictive.
What that does mean however is that when sports betting finally arrives in Arizona, it will find a state already comfortable with gambling. And of course, Arizona has a whole host of storied and successful sports teams to bet on once legalization comes in.
Arizona has pro teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA and the NHL as well as NCAA teams and other popular sports events.
NFL Football in Arizona
If you want to know about the history of sports in Arizona then look no further than the Arizona Cardinals, who are the oldest professional football team in the United States. Founded in 1898, and with a history that goes from Chicago to Arizona via St. Louis, the Cardinals have got a couple of national championships to their name, in 1925 and 1947.
The Cardinals are sure to be the subject of some action when legal sportsbetting makes its way to Arizona
College football is also super popular in Arizona. The rivalry between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats is one of the fiercest and longest running in the whole country.
MLB Baseball in Arizona
Phoenix is home to a number of professional sports franchises and in the MLB the Arizona Diamondbacks represent the state on a national level. Their World Series win in 2001 came only four years after the franchise was created.
Arizona also hosts the Cactus League, which welcomes a number of MLB teams for spring training every year.
NBA Basketball in Arizona
In the NBA the Phoenix Suns have a healthy record of picking up Division titles, but despite a few appearances in the playoffs they are yet to win an NBA championship. The Suns actually boast one of the best win records in the history of the NBA.
The legalization of sports betting might see a couple of bucks in Arizona going on the Suns to break their duck sooner or later. The Phoenix Mercury represent the city in the WNBA and have had more success, grabbing three WNBA championships in the last ten years.
NHL Hockey in Arizona
Like the Diamondbacks, the Arizona Coyotes who represent the state in the NHL are a pretty young franchise, officially founded in 1996 when they moved to Phoenix.
Before that the franchise were known as the Winnipeg Jets, one of the founding franchises of the World Hockey Association. The Coyotes are still seeking an elusive Stanley Cup victory.
Other Sports in Arizona
In soccer Phoenix Rising FC are partly led by one of the ageing superstars of the game in Didier Drogba both on the pitch and in the boardroom. The Rising are still in the second tier of the American soccer pyramid, but they are pushing towards a spot in MLS.
In golf, Arizona is a regular stop on the PGA tour with a number of great courses scattered throughout the state. Phoenix International Raceway is home to a couple of NASCAR weekends every year.
Once sports betting is legalized in Arizona you can expect a lot of action on all of these sports.
Of course, betting is not limited to local teams. If you think the Warriors are a better shout for another NBA title than the Suns, by all means stick a few dollars on them. Maybe just keep quiet about it in the bars in downtown Phoenix.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Arizona?
According to Arizona state law, participating in fantasy sports is considered a form of gambling and is therefore not currently legal in Arizona. As a result the major fantasy sports sites do not offer their services to players from Arizona.
However, as gambling laws become more and more relaxed, laws around fantasy sports may well be rolled back too. Check back on this page for updates in the future.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in Arizona?
Right now, there is no legal online sports betting in Arizona.
Some unregulated offshore bookmakers, which can be accessed from Arizona, may offer no deposit sports betting. However, these are something of a legal grey area. The safest option is to wait until legal, regulated sportsbetting comes to Arizona.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Arizona?
Right across the US, sports betting laws are being relaxed both live betting and in terms of online betting. Every day brings news of another state preparing legislature, a referendum, or founding a new gaming commission. While there are no concrete plans in place for Arizona right now, it looks like legal sports betting in Arizona has a bright future.
One thing that is clear is that the legalization of sports betting in Arizona will have to be done with the approval of the existing Tribal Casinos, and it would require a renegotiation of the existing tribal pacts. The pacts between Arizona and the Indian tribes dictates the substantial taxes that the tribal casinos pay on gaming revenue.
Although sports betting is not legal at the tribal casinos either as of right now, it could also be an option in the wake of PASPA being repealed.
Although there are no specific plans in Arizona, there have been murmurings of legalization. Governor Doug Ducey for example tweeted his support for legalization toward the end of 2018.
Arizona residents are no strangers to gambling. The state lottery is very popular, horse and dog racing have long been a part of the state, and tribal casinos offer lots of other options to gamble. When sports betting does come to Arizona, it will find a population ready with open arms.
Will Online Sports Betting Ever Be Legal in Arizona?
There is no way to answer that question with 100% accuracy. However, sports betting is moving towards legalization all across the US, and for the reasons we’ve covered in this guide we think there’s a good chance Arizona will be included.
Bringing Arizona Sports Betting Out of the Desert
The repeal of PASPA has done two things for the United States. It has opened up a billion-dollar industry for every state and it has sparked a renewed interest in sports betting across the country. Arizona, with its available gambling options and its wealth of professional sports teams, is a perfect candidate for legal sports gambling.
Sports fans in Arizona have spent long enough watching their neighbours in Nevada enjoy wide open sports betting. After New Mexico’s recent legalization and a referendum being prepared in California, it looks like soon all of Arizona’s neighbours will be able to be bet on sports legally. The Copper state will surely not be far behind.
If you live in Arizona, keep an eye on this page for significant developments that will either help or hurt the state’s chances of introducing legalized sports gambling.
For more information on other states browse our state by state US sports betting law guides.