Public Comment Sought For Arizona Sports Betting Rules

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Arizona is checking off boxes for a tentative sports betting launch for the Dallas-Tampa Bay NFL Kickoff game on Sept. 9. With legalization and federal approval of an amended compact ticked off the list, approval of regulations is next — but not before the public has its say. 

Two virtual public comment sessions for the Arizona Department of Gaming’s draft rules on event wagering (sports betting) and separate comment sessions on fantasy sports will be held this week and next via Google. 

The meeting times and links are: 

Friday, June 18 

9:00am – 12:00pm Session 1: Event Wagering (Google meeting link)

1:00pm – 4:00pm Session 2: Fantasy Sports (Google meeting link)

Monday, June 21 

9:00am – 12:00pm Session 3: Fantasy Sports (Google meeting link)

1:00pm – 4:00pm Session 4: Event Wagering (Google meeting link)

Comments on sports betting or fantasy sports regulation not shared previously with the ADG are requested in writing by a fillable form on the ADG website. 

Once all comments are in, the ADG will review input for inclusion in the official rules. The ADG states that all public comment on the draft rules will end at midnight on June 21.

What Is Left For The ADG To Decide? 

Four key sports betting policy areas — number of skins, licensing fees, privilege fees, and license allocation — are still undecided by the ADG. Comments from stakeholders and the public will be used to finalize those rules, in addition to other content in the ADG’s 13-page draft. 

Here is a rundown on what the draft rules say about the four key policy areas still under consideration by the ADG: 

Number Of Skins 

Arizona’s new sports betting law left skins allocation to state regulators. The law, passed by lawmakers on April 12, states only that “an (operator) may use more than one event wagering platform to offer, conduct, or operator event wagering. Only an event wagering operator or its management services provider may process, accept, offer or solicit wagers…” 

License Allocation

The number of sports betting operator licenses available under the draft rules is listed as TBD. Public comment will be used by the ADG to decide how many licenses it will make available in the state. 

Licensing Fees Application, initial license fee, and annual license fees for sports betting operators, limited sports betting operators, designees, and management service providers have been left open for public comment in the ADG draft rules. License fees will be required for every sports betting operator, supplier, or provider applicant per the rules and the 2021 legislation. 

Privilege Fees

Privilege fees for operators under Arizona’s new sports betting law are based on a percentage of adjusted gross event wagering receipts. What percentage, however, is left up to the ADG. 

A Brief History Of Arizona Sports Betting Regulation

The ADG is the primary regulatory agency for sports betting in the Grand Canyon State. Arizona’s sports betting law — approved and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on April 15 — gave the ADG that authority as the state prepares to launch sports betting both on- and off-reservation in September. 

“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,” ADG Director Ted Vogt said in April after signing of the new law.

Pro sports teams in Arizona are taking notice of the legislation: partnerships have already been announced between the Diamondbacks and Caesar’s, and between the Phoenix Suns and FanDuel Sportsbook, in anticipation of licensing later in 2021.

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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