ADG Director Johnson Expanding Knowledge Beyond Sports Betting in Debut Year

ADG Director Johnson Learning About More Than Sports Betting in First Year
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

Since her appointment around five months ago, Jackie Johnson has fully embraced her position as director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, utilizing her deep knowledge of tribal law.

The person who previously served in senior associate roles at Rothstein Donatelli and Quarles & Brady has acquired extensive expertise in Arizona sports betting, fantasy sports, and combat sports through their regulatory duties at ADG.

Since assuming the position from former Director Ted Vogt on Feb. 21, Johnson has been responsible for overseeing the regulation of the country’s 10th largest betting market. In her new role, she has encountered both challenges and opportunities.

In an interview with, Johnson expressed that his main challenge in his new role, as someone with a background in tribal gaming, is getting acquainted with the diverse industries overseen by the department. He noted that industries such as boxing, MMA, and horse racing are distinct from one another, and understanding how the department regulates them has been a significant learning curve for him. Despite this challenge, Johnson emphasized that he is actively embracing the opportunity to learn and grow in this new environment.

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Establishing a Responsible Gaming Infrastructure in Arizona

Johnson embarked on her path to the ADG by fully engaging in law school at the University of Michigan. She took on leadership positions in the Native American Law Students Association and was the associate editor of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law.

Following this, Johnson traveled west and honed her skills as a summer associate at the Navajo Housing Authority and at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker in Window Rock and Washington D.C. She transitioned to an associate position at Quarles & Brady in 2008, and eventually became a member of Rothstein Donatelli in 2013.

The stops gave Johnson a thorough understanding of tribal-related subjects, preparing her for a transition into the field of gaming regulation.

They also allowed her to see the progress made by previous leaders like Vogt in the fields of tribal gaming and Arizona betting apps, which Johnson hopes to continue advancing in the future.

Johnson expressed that after being in the position for about four months, he sees his main responsibility as building upon the work of his predecessors in the department. He noted the department’s extensive experience and expertise in various fields and mentioned that his efforts have been focused on maintaining its strengths while identifying areas for enhancement and development.

Johnson’s desired destination for the ADG leadership role.

Johnson declared that the success of sports betting in Arizona, with over $10 billion in wagers and millions in tax revenue, is evident, especially with the widespread use of promo codes for Arizona sportsbooks. Despite this achievement, there are still opportunities for enhancement in the state’s wagering and casino industries.

Johnson’s primary objective is to ensure the department conducts a comprehensive evaluation and distribution of the final two professional sports team licenses and the single tribal wagering license. Applications will be accepted starting on August 1st.

If all three licenses are granted, Arizona would reach the maximum limit of 20 sports betting licenses for the first time.

Johnson is thrilled at the chance to examine the regulations across various sectors in order to pinpoint areas that need better clarity and consistency. He stressed the significance of collecting input from stakeholders, particularly in light of the recent addition of event wagering.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has accumulated over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona. He has previously worked with, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He currently holds the position of lead writer at

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