As one of the 30+ states with legal sports betting, Arizona is quickly making a name for itself in the industry. With its recent launch in September 2021, both online and retail wagering options are now available to AZ residents.
Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, the United States has seen a significant increase in sports betting activity. The Supreme Court’s decision allowed each state to create its own laws regarding sports wagering, leading to a diverse and competitive market.
While states like New York currently dominate the legal sports betting industry, Arizona is making its mark by consistently ranking among the top 10 for monthly wagers. As the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see even more success from Arizona’s sportsbooks in the future.
A Brief History of Betting in Arizona
As with many states across the United States, all casino gambling in Arizona takes place on Native American land. This played a significant role when lawmakers began exploring sports betting, allowing these tribes to have a major influence on the industry.
Arizona also took a unique approach to legalizing sports betting by including professional sports venues and major events in the mix. In addition to retail sportsbooks at stadiums, major sporting events held in Arizona can also apply for a license.
The process of launching sports betting in Arizona was relatively quick, with the law being passed and implemented in less than five months. With more Native American tribes than available licenses, there is potential for changes to be made in the future.
While the casino industry may not be as strong in Arizona compared to other states, the support for the sports betting industry from residents and visitors has exceeded expectations. As the market continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see even more success for both Native American tribes and professional sports in Arizona.
The Legalization of Sports Betting in Arizona
While the process of legalizing sports betting in Arizona faced some challenges, it ultimately ended with great success. In April 2021, House Bill 2772 was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey, paving the way for sports betting to be regulated in the state.
Today, the Arizona Department of Gaming is responsible for overseeing the sports betting industry, and they have set aside a total of 20 licenses. Ten are reserved for Native American tribes, while the other ten are available for professional sports venues or major events.
The official launch date for sports betting in Arizona was September 9, 2021, coinciding with the first day of the 2021 NFL season. This was the targeted date from when the bill was signed, and thanks to the efforts of the ADG, everything was in place for a successful launch.
Where to Place Your Bets in Arizona
Currently, there are 17 online sportsbooks available for betting in Arizona, with the potential for even more to enter the market. Retail sports betting is also offered at Native American tribal casinos and professional sports venues within the state.
With a large market like Arizona, it’s no surprise that top operators are eager to establish a presence here. As the competition continues to grow, bettors in this state can expect to have access to some of the best options in the industry.
Here is a list of the current online sportsbooks available for betting in Arizona:
- Bally Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Desert Diamond Digital
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Golden Nugget
- Hard Rock Bet
While there may not be as many retail sportsbooks in Arizona compared to other states, this is due to some smaller tribes choosing not to establish a physical location. However, the ones that do exist can be found throughout the state, with popular options at major racetracks and stadiums.
Below is a list of the retail sportsbook locations in Arizona and the associated operator for each one:
- Chase Field (Caesars)
- Desert Diamond Casino (Desert Diamond Sports)
- Footprint Center (BetRivers, FanDuel)
- Gila River Casinos (BetMGM)
- Phoenix Mercury (BallyBet)
- Phoenix Raceway (Barstool/PENN)
- Quechan Casino Resort (Unibet)
- Spirit Mountain Casino (SuperBook Sports)
- State Farm Stadium (BetMGM)
- TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings)
- We-Ko-Pa Casino (Betfred)
Rules and Regulations for Sports Betting in Arizona
Arizona’s sports betting regulations and rules are similar to those found in other markets, with provisions that benefit both bettors and sportsbooks. The legal age for participating in sports betting is 21 years old, which is consistent with most states across the US.
While sportsbooks have the option to set their own betting limits, they must adhere to the types of bets approved by the state. Typically, most sportsbooks will offer a variety of popular betting options.
In Arizona, college sports betting is permitted, but high school events and non-sporting events like awards shows are off-limits. Additionally, visitors to the state can also participate in online sports betting as long as they are within state borders, tracked through geolocation services.
Sports and Events to Bet on in Arizona
Arizona’s thriving sports betting market owes much of its success to the wide range of teams and events that attract bettors. With a professional team in each of the four major sports leagues and popular college programs, there is never a shortage of action for Arizona sports fans.
The most popular team in the state is the Arizona Cardinals, making the NFL a top choice for bettors. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona has even hosted the Super Bowl, generating significant betting interest.
The Phoenix Suns have also been a top-performing team in recent years and have a strong fan base in the state. With retail sports betting available at The Footprint Center all year round, it is a popular destination for sports bettors.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Coyotes round out the major professional teams in the state, drawing plenty of bets in their respective leagues. While not as popular as other sports, baseball and hockey still have a solid presence in the sports betting scene through associated sportsbooks.
On the college sports front, both the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils are top contenders in basketball and football.
Tips for First-time Bettors in Arizona
If you’re new to the world of sports betting in Arizona, there are some valuable tips to follow that can help increase your chances of success. The first and most important step is to create a bankroll management plan before placing any bets.
This plan should outline how much money you are comfortable investing in sports betting and when it’s time to stop betting. It’s also crucial to determine a consistent betting unit that will remain the same for each bet you make.
Another useful tip is to shop around for the best betting lines available in Arizona. With multiple options for online sportsbooks, be sure to compare and find the ones with the most favorable bonuses or promotions when signing up.
Lastly, doing your research is key to placing winning bets. Take your time in the beginning to understand the sports betting industry and start with low-stakes bets until you become more familiar with the process.
The Future of Sports Betting in Arizona
With 20 available sports betting licenses already issued in Arizona, it’s unlikely that any more will be handed out. However, there are still a few reserved for professional sports and it’s possible they could be distributed by the end of 2023.
Recently, WynnBET Sportsbook announced its departure from Arizona and other states, opening up another license. Additionally, PENN Entertainment has partnered with ESPN and the launch of ESPN BET is expected to come to Arizona.
While sports betting in Arizona may have slowed down in 2023 compared to the previous year, this trend is being observed in many other states as well. Eventually, things will level out and Arizona will continue to be one of the top ten sports betting markets in the country.
Changes in daily fantasy sports sites may be on the horizon, as many states are considering banning prop-style games. However, this is not expected to have a major impact in Arizona as these sites are not required to pay taxes to the state.
The legalization of sports betting in Arizona has brought in additional tax revenue and has also allowed Native American tribes holding licenses to make improvements to their land. If you are planning to bet on sports in Arizona, remember to always gamble responsibly and seek help if needed.