Feds Approve Arizona Sports Betting; Launch Pending

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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: 

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.

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. 

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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