Arizona Sports Betting Thriving in First Year of Operation

Arizona Sports Betting Hitting Its Stride Through First Year of Operations
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

After a year of gathering data from the Department of Gaming and billions of dollars in bets made, we can now assess the first year of sports betting in Arizona.

Arizona sports betting apps and retail locations have collected more than $5.4 billion in wagers since September 9, 2021. In August alone, the handle reached $361.008 million, coinciding with the approval for the 18 licensed online sports betting operators to begin accepting bets.

With the exception of New York, which had retail sportsbooks before introducing mobile betting in January, the Grand Canyon State is the fastest market to reach over $5 billion in handle.

According to a press release from the department, Ted Vogt, the director of the ADG, characterized the inaugural year as a triumph for the state of Arizona.

Vogt was excited to report the strong betting figures for August, signaling the end of Arizona’s first year of legalized sports betting. He highlighted that over $5.4 billion had been wagered on sports in the inaugural year, demonstrating a successful start for the state’s new sports betting industry.

Best Choice
Caesars Sports
Best Choice
Must be 21+ and present in AZ. T&Cs apply.
Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in AZ. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP. Visit for Terms & Conditions. US promotional go-casinos not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.
Must be a new verified Betway customer & present in AZ. 21+. Opt-in may be req'd. Make your first min. deposit of $10+, place a wager up to $250 (with odds of –300 (1.33) or greater (i.e. -300, -150, +150, etc.)) and receive up to $250 as bonus bet funds if the wager loses. Wager must be settled within 7 days from new account opening Gambling problem? Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ).
Must be 21+ and present in AZ. T&Cs apply.
Must be 21+ to participate & present in Arizona. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs Apply.
Must be 21+ to participate & present in Arizona. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-522-4700
Offered by Seminole Hard Rock Digital, LLC. Must be 21+ and physically present in AZ to play. T&Cs Apply. In AZ call 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXTSTEP to 53342.
Must be 21+ to participate & present in Arizona. T&Cs apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP.

Top Arizona Operators Based on Handle Size

DraftKings$1.68 billion
FanDuel$1.49 billion
BetMGM$1.08 billion
Caesars$695.99 million
Barstool$193.63 million
WynnBet$132.32 million
BetRivers$47.48 million
SuperBook Sports$14.6 million
TwinSpires$10.85 million
Betfred$11.46 million
Hard Rock$8.77 million
Unibet$7.96 million
Desert Diamond$4.85 million
Fubo$4.29 million
Bally’s$1.19 million
Digital Gaming$734,766
Golden Nugget$572,182

A Memorable Opening Year

Several sports betting experts in Arizona told that they will always remember the first year of sports betting.

Eric Hession, president of Caesars Digital, partnered with the Arizona Diamondbacks to laud the state’s launch day as a remarkable achievement. He further expressed the operator’s excitement about their successful performance in Arizona.

In an email to, Hession stated that September 9, 2021 was a momentous day for the company with the launch of Caesars Sportsbook in a new state on the first day of legalized sports betting. Hession expressed optimism for the future and emphasized their commitment to responsible operation in Arizona. Hession also thanked their partners, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ak-Chin Casino, for their support in establishing a presence in the state.

As Hession pointed out, The Emperor has been a top performer in Arizona since its inception. Caesars Sportsbook Arizona has achieved the fourth highest handle in the state, reaching a total of $695.993 million, trailing only DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetMGM.

Caesars unveiled its permanent retail store at Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks, in June.

One such example of the popularity of placing bets in person and through mobile apps among individuals in the retail industry in the state is Jeff Hoose, the regional director of FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona.

Hoose states that the retail area managed by the New York operator at Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix has become a crucial element of the Phoenix Suns’ game day experience and a beloved destination for Valley residents throughout the year.

In an email to, Hoose mentioned that although Suns games at Footprint Center are a popular attraction in Phoenix, they also bring in a significant amount of business on game nights. He was taken aback by the large number of football fans visiting the center on a Saturday. Hoose spent the entire day at Footprint Center engaging in conversations with customers who were excited for the start of college football season.

Head over to for special NFL betting deals only available in Arizona.

What can we expect for Arizona sports betting in its second year?

Daniel McIntosh, a Senior Lecturer at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, along with other sports economists, see sports betting as a positive distraction for the state, citing the successful outcomes seen in its first year.

During an interview with, McIntosh humorously remarked that sports betting is not going to rescue Social Security. Despite the impressive handle numbers and $16 million in tax revenues, these amounts are relatively small in comparison to Arizona’s multi-billion dollar budget. He suggested that people should enjoy sports betting but also make an effort to support local restaurants in order to promote healthy communities. McIntosh concluded by saying to savor the experience while it is still available.

McIntosh noted that the upcoming Super Bowl in Arizona will be the first time that the country’s largest sporting event is held in a state where sports betting is permitted. This adds a distinctive element to the Grand Canyon State as it gears up to host the Big Game, alongside its beautiful winter climate and plethora of resorts and hotels.

BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona opened its retail location at State Farm Stadium just in time for the start of the Cardinals season.

McIntosh anticipates a rise in activity that is expected to be profitable, but he emphasizes that the magnitude of this increase will be influenced by the teams participating in the major event. Specifically, the lack of legalization of online sports betting in California, where the Rams are the reigning champions, remains a critical issue that needs to be addressed. If the teams competing do not have legalized betting, the potential impact could be more substantial.

Derrick Hall, President & CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and other sports team executives in Arizona have enthusiastically adopted sports betting as a means to connect with fans and foster loyalty, playing a key role in the club’s overall success.

He expects the bond to strengthen as time goes on, particularly with the recent launch of the Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field and customers gaining more knowledge about sports betting.

Hall shared his enthusiasm about the growth of sports betting in the past year since its legalization. He emphasized the added entertainment opportunities for fans and the heightened level of fan involvement. The organization started with just a few betting windows in the Ticket Office last September, but now proudly hosts the largest standalone sportsbook in Arizona as well as a premier culinary venue in Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar at Caesars Sportsbook.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, having worked for, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. Currently, he is the main writer at

Cited by leading media sources, such as: