Ted Vogt, Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, anticipates consolidation in the state’s sports betting industry.

ADG Director Ted Vogt: Consolidation Expected in Arizona Sports Betting Industry
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Arizona sportsbooks have been in operation for more than nine months, with the market continuing to thrive without any signs of slowing down.

Arizona has become one of the top 5 markets for operators since its launch on September 9th, with over $3.4 billion in wagers placed by the end of March.

For the last year, Ted Vogt, Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, has focused on getting the state ready for the legalization of wagering under HB 2772. His dedication has ensured that Arizona is fully prepared for the upcoming launch of this new industry.

Arizona has achieved the second-fastest time to reach $1 billion in wagers, coming in just behind New York.

yengols.com interviewed Vogt about various topics, and a summarized and clarified version of their discussion is provided below.

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Vogt

Demand for early sports betting in Arizona has been impressive.

yengols.com: What is the ADG’s perspective on the legal and regulated sports betting market after more than nine months in operation?

Ted Vogt considers the first nine months to be a success overall, except for New York. Arizona achieved the milestone of reaching a billion dollars in handle as the second fastest state. Between September and March, there was approximately $3.5 billion in wagers, $3.2 billion in payouts, and the state collected around $10.5 million in privilege fees.

The industry rapidly gained recognition in this area, and it has been truly remarkable to see the continuous high demand during its inaugural year.

What aspect of Arizona sports betting has surprised or disappointed you the most?

Vogt observed that the high demand for sports betting in Arizona has been a positive development, with residents betting substantial sums of money. Although there was some initial surprise that not all operators were prepared for the NFL kickoff on Sept. 9, the fact that 18 out of 20 licenses are now in use shows that the rollout of sports betting in the state has been successful.

What strategy does the ADG plan to use in issuing the final two mobile sports betting licenses for professional sports teams that are still pending?

Vogt clarified that one license is currently tied up in legal proceedings, and they are working through that process. Once they have a better understanding of the litigation’s progress, they intend to proceed with distributing the remaining two licenses. Although there is no specific timeline for this, they assured stakeholders that the department will give advance notice before accepting applications to ensure everyone has adequate time to prepare their submissions.

Limited license holders are now going online.

yengols.com: What issues have the ADG faced with Arizona sports betting apps?

Vogt: Our team has successfully assisted operators in swiftly becoming operational while ensuring adherence to laws and regulations. We are currently in the process of launching the 10 limited event wagering operator licenses in Arizona, which were awarded to racetracks or their OTB network. The majority have already commenced operations, with a few more expected to start soon.

We are still in the initial phases, but fortunately, we have not faced any major issues. The sports betting sector in Arizona is flourishing and becoming more robust as we move through our first year.

yengols.com: Do you have any updates on the status of settlement negotiations with the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe?

Vogt announced that litigation against the state and Superior Court is temporarily suspended. The Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe has signed the 2021 restated and amended compact, as well as its accompanying amendment. These agreements are now pending approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Vogt anticipates a quick resolution once the federal government gives its approval to the compact.

Yengols.com is curious about the delay in monthly revenue reports being released in Arizona, as the state is more than a month behind in reporting compared to other states.

Vogt clarified that operators must submit their reports by the 25th of each month for the prior month, as specified in the regulations. Despite a delay at the close of last year, they are now gearing up to disclose the April figures.

This has been a beneficial learning opportunity for all parties involved, including the department and the operators. I anticipate that individuals will now achieve quicker results while still following the reporting guidelines set forth in our regulations.

yengols.com: How does the ADG handle unexpected obstacles with operators, such as TwinSpires shutting down its mobile sports betting services?

Vogt is prepared for industry consolidation and is dedicated to ensuring that operators leaving the market do so in a responsible manner.

Prior to solidifying our regulations, we incorporated a segment detailing the guidelines for operators to follow when concluding their operations. We actively work with operators and frequently consult with them. Our main priority is safeguarding consumers, and we are committed to ensuring they are not put at risk as we navigate the early stages in the state.

yengols.com: How can second and third tier operators in Arizona ensure their long-term survival through effective strategies?

Vogt observed that the second and third-tier products were launched later than the initial batch. It will likely be some time before we can determine how the market will stabilize.

The new Arizona sports betting law includes a provision that gives operators up to five years of complimentary bet credits to assist in offsetting the startup expenses of their businesses in the state.

We are currently at the beginning of event wagering in our state, with operators giving out free bet credits to entice new players. Over the next few years, we will gain a better understanding of how the market will grow and evolve.

Coyotes will keep their betting license in the temporary arena.

What impact does the Arizona Coyotes’ arena situation have on their ability to continue offering mobile and retail sports betting through GoCasino in the state?

Vogt confirmed that they are working with all stakeholders, including the Coyotes, to secure their ongoing operation. The team will be using a temporary stadium in Tempe for the next several years during the relocation process.

We are working together with them to resolve the issues once more. This is a new circumstance for them as they will no longer be functioning in [Glendale]. If they can comply with the regulations and laws, they should obtain their license. The department is ready to help and guarantee they can keep operating within the boundaries set by the legislature.

Discover the future of sports betting in Arizona as the state nears its one-year anniversary by visiting yengols.com.

Vogt expects a decline in betting activity over the summer as sports events slow down prior to the beginning of football season.

The football season is a crucial factor for this industry, but we are particularly excited about the upcoming Super Bowl in February. It will be the first time the Super Bowl is hosted in a location where event wagering is allowed. Furthermore, physical sportsbooks are beginning to emerge, like the new sportsbook opened by the Diamondbacks near Chase Field. We expect to see more of these physical sportsbooks popping up soon.

It is incredibly exciting to witness the progress we have made in under a year. The market is rapidly changing, and we are actively setting the foundation for future achievements.

The industry’s growth in the next five years will be greatly impacted by this. Arizona’s attractions will make it a sought-after tourist destination, and hosting major sporting events in the fall and winter will contribute to further industry growth.

Yengols.com: Do you have any concluding thoughts on sports betting in Arizona?

Vogt: For sports enthusiasts, Arizona has always been a top choice. From spring training and Cardinals games to safe and legal betting options, visitors can now enjoy a wide range of activities in the state. Come and explore all that Arizona has to offer!

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, gaining experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He currently serves as the lead writer at yengols.com.

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