Arizona Sports Betting Launch Only A Few Months Away

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Sports betting was legalized in Arizona last week. All that’s left to do now is get the sportsbooks open. 

But there are a few procedural steps left for Arizona to tackle before retail and online sports betting can go live. 

The first step is drafting of new rules for sports betting (known as “event wagering” per Arizona law) and fantasy sports wagering by state regulators. 

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced on April 21 that it is in the early process of rulemaking for retail and mobile sports betting, plus fantasy sports contests, in the state. Licensing and enforcement of mobile sports betting operators and off-reservation retail operators in Arizona will primarily be the job of the ADG. 

Regulation of sports betting in Arizona can officially begin after a few more legal steps — at both the state and federal levels — are completed.

Arizona Sports Betting Timeline

Amended Tribal-State Gaming Compacts

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed amended tribal-state gaming compacts with the state’s federally-recognized tribes on April 15, 2021. It was the same day that Ducey signed the state’s 2021 Gaming Act to legalize sports betting on- and off-reservation. 

The next step toward bringing sports betting online in-state is approval of the tribal-state gaming compacts by the Federal Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming (OIG). That agency has 45 days to review and approve the compacts after they are received. The compacts were submitted to the agency on April 16. 

No action within that 45 day period means automatic approval of the compacts, which will then be forwarded to the Federal Register (the official journal for federal documents) to be published within 90 days. 

Back To Arizona, And The ADG 

The amended compacts will take effect in Arizona when they are published in the Federal Register. 

Once both the compacts and the ADG rulemaking process is finished, sports betting in Arizona can begin.

The result? Modernized gaming in Arizona, and millions of dollars in new state revenue for the Grand Canyon State. 

The entire process will take months — not years — according to ADG Director Ted Vogt, per an April 21 press release from the agency. 

“The Department is already hard at work drafting rules and procedures to ensure the safety and security of the Arizona betting public as we look towards implementing event and fantasy sports wagering in the months ahead,” said Vogt.

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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