Arizona sports betting is on target for an almost-certain launch by the 2021 football season after federal approval of a required tribal-state gaming compact was announced this morning.
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced approval of the amended Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact today, sources say:
BREAKING: The U.S. Department of Interior has given its approval to the amended tribal-state gaming compact, finalizing an agreement to allow for sports betting in Arizona that was signed in April by Governor Doug Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders.
— Chris Sieroty (@sierotyfeatures) May 24, 2021
Gaming Today verified approval through a notice published today in the Federal Register — the official record of federal rules and public notices. Publication of notice in the Federal Register is required within 90 days of compact approval, which makes the speedy news out of D.C. a big relief to Arizona state officials, tribes, and industry leaders who worked to bring sports betting to the Grand Canyon State.
Now, with all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted in Washington, D.C., the amended Arizona Gaming Compact is in effect.
The historic tribal-state gaming compact amendment is officially in effect ✅
Gaming creates thousands of jobs for Arizonans, it generates tax revenue that benefits key areas of our communities, and it draws visitors to our state. 1/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) May 24, 2021
Federal approval triggers a new state law authorizing sports betting in Arizona. It is under that law and the amended compact that retail and mobile sportsbooks, both on- and off-reservation, will launch as soon as state regulations are ready.
“Once both the compacts and the rulemaking process is complete, these new legalized games will become operational,” the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced last month.
Regulations are expected to be complete by later summer or early fall.
Arizona Sports Betting: How We Got Here
News of approval of the amended compact broke a month after the ADG announced the beginning of the rulemaking process for retail and mobile sports betting 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.
A new state law passed by the 2021 Arizona State Legislature authorized sports betting in accordance with the amended compact, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona tribes on April 15, 2021.
The compact was submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior on April 16.