This year, the remaining Arizona sports betting licenses will be made available.

Final Arizona Sports Betting Licenses To Become Available This Year
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

With 18 licensees already in operation, Arizona sports betting is approaching its two-year mark since launching. The Department of Gaming is now opening up applications for three more available slots.

On Friday morning, the ADG finally put an end to the speculation surrounding Arizona’s expansion to the maximum of 20 wagering licenses as outlined in HB-2772, the legislation that legalized sports betting in the state.

The department has announced that applications for three wagering licenses will be open from August 1st to August 15th. These licenses include two for professional sports teams and one for a tribe in the state.

The ADG will be hosting an informational webinar on July 17, three days after the department updates and posts its application forms and guidelines on its website, as announced.

The ADG has announced that the deadline for event wagering license applications is August 15, 2023. All applicants must submit their completed applications between August 1 and August 15 to be considered for a license. The ADG will review all applications in accordance with the State’s event wagering rules and statutes.

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The journey that led us to where we are now

The process for updating the ADG licenses for Friday began in September 2021, when the ADG approved licenses for 18 Arizona betting apps. Ten of these licenses were given to operators in collaboration with tribes in the state, while the other eight were awarded to operators in partnership with professional sports teams, out of the 10 licenses available.

The Ak-Chin Indian Community near Phoenix was one of 10 tribes granted a license, but faced a setback when its gaming partner, Fubo Sportsbook, closed its sports betting operation in October.

It is believed that the tribal license currently available was originally granted to the Ak-Chin tribe. However, attempts to contact the tribe for confirmation have been unsuccessful.

The tribe has teamed up with Caesars Sportsbook Arizona to offer retail sports betting at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, featuring a Caesars-branded sportsbook.

According to the ADG’s sports betting regulations, operators who wish to obtain one of the two “professional sports team” licenses must hold events in a venue that has a minimum seating capacity of 10,000.

The Cardinals, Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Rattlers, Suns, Mercury, TPC Scottsdale, and Phoenix Speedway have obtained licenses for mobile sports betting. Turf Paradise, a horse race track, was denied a professional sports team license in 2021 and currently holds only a limited event wagering license for retail sports betting.

Which betting companies are likely to increase their presence?

Fanatics Betting and Gaming, vying for an Arizona sports betting license, launched its retail sports betting platform in Maryland in collaboration with the Washington Commanders in January. In May, the beta version of their mobile platform was introduced in Tennessee and Ohio.

Fanatics is poised to acquire the U.S. sports betting assets of Australian company PointsBet for $225 million, beating out a rival bid of $195 million from American gaming company DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet does not have a license in Arizona, but DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona has a partnership with TPC Scottsdale. They are planning to open a retail location at the home of the Phoenix Open in 2024.

Other potential bidders for a license could be Jake Paul’s Betr brand, which is currently active on mobile platforms in Ohio and Massachusetts, along with specialized brands like Tipico Sportsbook and Bet365.

Will the remaining licenses attract a lot of interest?

During an interview with yengols.com, Brendan Bussmann, managing partner of the gaming consultant firm B Global, voiced his uncertainty regarding the demand for one of the last three betting licenses available in the state.

A large part of this belief stems from Arizona exceeding expectations in its initial 20 months of operation, with more than $10 billion in wagers, $450 million in gaming revenue, and nearly $46 million in taxes generated since its launch in September 2021.

Bussmann anticipates that Fanatics and Bet365 will express interest in the market, with the potential for additional operators to join by August. A spokesperson from Fanatics declined to comment on the company’s intentions for Arizona.

Bussmann pointed out that there are currently only three available licenses for tribes due to state restrictions. He was unsure if there are two other teams that meet the qualifications for these licenses. Bussmann highlighted that Arizona’s main challenge is not securing operators, but rather finding a new home for the Coyotes hockey team, especially considering the abundance of team licenses that were initially available.

It is more advisable to explore opportunities in states like Arizona, where licenses are readily available, instead of other states with difficult operating and tax conditions for regulated businesses.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona, with previous positions at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He currently holds the role of lead writer at yengols.com.

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