Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has introduced a plan that could significantly expand The Grand Canyon State’s gambling options.
According to Tuscon.com, Governor Ducey’s plan would bring new forms of gambling to Arizona, both from commercial operators and tribal operators. However, it’s far from a done deal. There will undoubtedly be concessions and debates, and the plan must pass a GOP-controlled state legislature.
Arizona Gambling Expansion Plan Details
Governor Ducey’s plan is still in the early stages, and there are a lot of moving parts.
The biggest hurdle to overcome is working with Arizona’s tribal operators. In 2002, the Arizona government reached a 20-year agreement with the state’s tribes. Under that agreement, the tribes could operate casinos as long as they shared some of the profits with the state. With that agreement coming to an end in 2022, the time is ripe for renegotiations that could open the door for commercial properties and online gambling channels. The 2002 agreement also barred the state from introducing any new forms of gambling, online or otherwise. In essence, 2022 could shape up to be a massive year for Arizona, ushering in a new era of gambling expansion.
Additionally, Governor Ducey is pushing for more land-based gaming options. Proponents of the plan cite nearby Las Vegas as a pilferer of gambling business. They also emphasize that Arizona vacationers (for Spring Training, the Pheonix Open, and other events) would appreciate gambling options as another channel for entertainment.
Arizona Sports Betting Structure
As it stands, Arizona’s potential online gambling plan features limited forms of sports betting. According to the Tuscon.com story covering Ducey’s plan, bettors would have access to college sports betting, but only on the outcome of a game. Presumably, this would mean moneyline bets only (though point spreads might also be considered; that remains unclear).
Bets on professional sports beyond typical moneylines, spreads, and totals appear to be fair game.
All of this would be possible on mobile, though further details about online betting are not yet available.
Governor Ducey’s proposal offers up 20 sports betting licenses. Half of those are reserved for Arizona’s tribes. The remaining half would go to Arizona sports teams or major leagues. For example, the Phoenix Suns, the Diamondbacks, and PGA could all apply for a sports betting license alongside many other popular sports and leagues in the state.