Arizona Must Consider Tribes When Crafting Sports Betting Law

Arizona Must Consider Tribes When Crafting Sports Betting Law

August 30, 2018 5:55 PM
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Arizona lawmakers are finding themselves in a pinch similar to other states — it’s slow going on the sports betting front because of existing tribal compacts with Indian gaming interests. Arizona hasn’t made any real progress on sports betting this year, and part of the reason is what’s often referred to as the “poison pill” that states dealing with tribal compacts must consider.

In Arizona’s case, according to a recent report from the Bloomberg, the state would lose significant revenue should it introduce sports betting without reworking the tribal pacts. The state has deals with more than 20 tribes, each of which pay the state a tax of up to 8 percent — which translates into about $80 million annually — on gaming revenue. From the Bloomberg story, Stephen Hart, who practices Indian and gaming law, said Arizona would be hard-pressed to pass a sports betting law that would allow the state or commercial interests to offer sports betting, but not the local tribes.

The current gaming compact dates to 2002 and was approved by voters. Tribal leaders are open to adding sports betting to their repertoire and working with the state to hammer out an agreement.

Check out sportshandle.com for the full article.

Brett Smiley’s opinions are his own and may not reflect those of GamingToday.