Analyst reports that the state’s sports betting has begun on a positive note.

Analyst: State's Sports Betting Off to ‘Positive Start’

New Arizona sports betting apps have seen a rapid increase in the market just 40 days after their launch on September 9.

Arizona, also known as the Grand Canyon State, placed in the top five out of 18 states and the District of Columbia for NFL sports betting transactions, as reported by geolocation firm GeoComply. With a total of 36.9 million transactions, this data gives a glimpse into what the initial figures for the opening month may entail once released by the Arizona Department of Gaming next month.

So far, Arizona has introduced eight sportsbook operators including BetMGM Arizona, Caesars Sportsbook Arizona, DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona, FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona, Penn National Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook, TwinSpires Sportsbook Arizona, Unibet Arizona, and WynnBET Arizona.

Fubo Gaming and Bally’s Arizona are anticipated to debut their mobile sportsbook services in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Golden Nugget, BetRivers/Rush Street Interactive, Digital Gaming, Bet365, and Betfred are just a few of the eight other companies that have not disclosed their launch plans in Arizona.

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Arizona is exceeding expectations and performing at a higher level than what is typically expected based on its size or resources.

Brendan Bussmann, a partner and director of global affairs at Global Market Advisors, a consulting firm specializing in the gaming market, stated that the initial six weeks of online sports betting in Arizona have shown positive results.

Bussmann is confident that the Arizona market has the potential to match or even exceed the success seen in neighboring Colorado, where sports betting was legalized through a proposition in 2019.

Bussmann informed that the early progress is encouraging. Despite more developments on the horizon, especially with the introduction of physical betting locations, Arizona appears set to flourish as a sports betting market.

Since May, Colorado has generated more than $3 billion in sports wagers and $10 million in tax revenue. Bussmann predicts that Arizona has the potential to follow in Colorado’s footsteps and achieve comparable success in the future.

Bussmann observed that before the launch date, Arizona’s market resembled Colorado’s in its regulatory structure. Both markets have a strong preference for local teams and a sizable population interested in sports.

I thought of Arizona, situated in the western region like Colorado, as a comparable state. Whether or not this comparison is accurate is still unknown. Nevertheless, having mobile access throughout the state certainly helps in this regard.

What is the Next Step for Arizona’s Market?

Bussmann and colleagues are keeping track of which individuals will receive licensure in Arizona.

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes are one of the notable parties in this situation, as they were among eight Arizona teams to obtain a license in September. However, they have not disclosed their partnership yet.

Despite multiple requests, a spokesperson for the franchise declined to comment on the team’s future sports betting plans to

Bussmann is optimistic about the Coyotes’ standing in the sports betting industry, especially with the possibility of a new arena being constructed in Tempe for the team.

According to Bussmann, the Coyotes are still somewhat enigmatic, with speculation indicating that they tend to handle their problems internally rather than reaching out for external assistance.

Aside from the Coyotes, the next question is which two parties will ultimately receive a sportsbook operator’s license in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Gaming posed the question before the launch, after awarding 18 licenses.

There are 20 licenses in Arizona, divided equally between professional sports teams and tribes.

Maxwell Hartgroves, the public information officer for the department, stated that there is currently no set timeline for the awarding of the final two licenses.

In an email to, Hartgroves mentioned that he does not have any information at the moment about the distribution of the remaining event wagering licenses. The Department will determine the process for this at a future date.

Bussmann believes that the department will encounter difficulties in granting the remaining two licenses because of the lack of “professional” teams in the state, as specified in the 2021 gaming compact.

Bussmann noted that licenses are not being utilized because there are no teams that meet the criteria, showing a flaw in the agreement that he wants to see addressed.

He noted that achieving the full 20 might pose a challenge, as both organizations operate in the sports industry. This is because the law has set strict criteria that only a limited number of organizations will be able to meet.

From the moment applications were submitted, it was clear that limiting the number of licenses for statewide tribes was a mistake. I saw this restriction as a flaw in the legislation that prevented tribes with an interest in mobile gaming from participating.

What secrets will September’s handle expose?

Bussmann is optimistic that the financial impact of Arizona’s first month of sports betting will be significant, but the full extent of it will not be known until next month.

The seasoned analyst confidently predicts a notable uptick in betting activity in Arizona during September, driven by the surge in transactions associated with the start of NFL betting season, as well as the robust interest in college football and WNBA basketball.

Bussmann expressed caution in providing an exact prediction at this moment due to the uncertainty of the upcoming weeks. Nevertheless, he foresees a potentially record-breaking high number.



Peterson Christopher

For more than seven years, Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona. He has worked with, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News, and is now the lead writer at

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