Proposed legislation in Arizona aims to streamline oversight of sports betting and establish a maximum tax rate.

Legislation Consolidating Oversight of Arizona Sports Betting, Capping Tax Rate Advances

Currently progressing through the state Legislature are two bills that aim to alter the regulations governing sports betting in Arizona.

House Bill 2509 was approved by the Arizona House Rules Committee on Monday with a unanimous 8-0 vote. The bill’s objective is to create the Arizona Gaming Commission to take over the responsibilities of the Arizona Racing Commission, the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, and the Arizona Department of Gaming.

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Appropriations gave the green light to SB 1459, a bill that would reduce the Arizona Department of Gaming’s budget for enforcing fantasy sports and sports betting laws from 10% to 8%. An amendment to the bill would also cap the tax rate for fantasy sports contests at 10%.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Andrew Diss, Chief Strategy Officer of Meruelo Gaming, expressed his approval for the amendment. Meruelo Gaming, which is owned by Alex Meruelo, the managing partner of the Arizona Coyotes, introduced the mobile sports betting platform SaharaBets in Arizona in January.

The Senate amended HB 2509 to specifically address the absentee ballot counting process during elections, resulting in the bill being rebranded as SB 1458.

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How Consolidation Would Work

Should the consolidation bill be approved, the Gaming Commission will assume responsibility for Arizona betting apps beginning July 1, 2023.

The newly established Gaming Commission will include: one member appointed by the governor who is a certified public accountant licensed in Arizona or another state, with a minimum of five years of experience in general accounting; another member appointed by the governor with at least five years of experience in law enforcement; and a Director of the Gaming Commission with a minimum of five years of experience in public or business administration.

The commission will be comprised of three new members, with one appointed by the Governor, another by the President of the Senate, and the third by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Arizona’s Current Oversight Structure

In Arizona, there are currently three distinct agencies in charge of overseeing gaming, racing, and boxing/MMA.

The Arizona Department of Gaming has been regulating sports betting in the state since it was founded in 1995. In addition to overseeing tribal gaming operations and certifying casino employees, the ADG also works closely with the Racing Commission and Boxing & MMA Commission.

The state Racing Commission, founded in 1949, is tasked with granting racing dates and guaranteeing the implementation and enforcement of regulations that protect the welfare of horses.

Established in 1982, the Boxing & MMA Commission is responsible for licensing a range of fight officials, including referees, judges, matchmakers, promoters, trainers, and ringside physicians. In 1997, the commission expanded its oversight to include MMA as well.

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Author

Young Ruth

Michael is the current news editor at yengols.com, overseeing coverage of a wide range of topics. Previously, he spent nine years as the sports editor at the Tulsa World. Prior to that, he held positions as the high school sports editor at the Houston Chronicle and as the sports editor at the Beaumont Enterprise and Galveston County Daily News in Texas.

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