Two Arizona sports betting bills seem unlikely to pass in legislature.

Pair of Arizona Sports Betting Bills Appear Dead in Legislature
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

It appears that two bills related to sports betting in Arizona have stalled in the state legislature.

Neither Arizona HB2509 nor SB1674 have made any advancements in either chamber of the legislature. HB2509’s goal was to create the Arizona Gaming Commission to replace the Arizona Racing Commission, the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, and the Arizona Department of Gaming. SB1674 aimed to expand the number of betting licenses available to the state’s tribes.

Republican Rep. Leo Biasiucci introduced HB2509 on Jan. 24, but it has not progressed out of the House Committee of the Whole since being read on Feb. 24.

On February 3, Democratic Senator Sally Gonzales from Tucson introduced SB1674 in the Senate; however, the bill has not yet been voted on.

In an email to yengols.com, Aaron Hernandez, the director of Arizona State University’s Sports Law and Business Program, stated that it is unlikely for both HB2509 and SB1674 to pass during the current 2022 session, which is scheduled to end on April 23.

According to Hernandez, sources more knowledgeable about the situation have indicated that neither bill is gaining traction and it is unlikely that either will move forward.

Biasiucci stated his plans to reintroduce his bill in a discussion with yengols.com on Thursday evening and confirmed that he will try again next year.

Biasiucci mentioned in an email that the bill will not move forward this year due to lack of support from the commissions and strong opposition from the tribes. The plan is to reintroduce the bill next year after conducting stakeholder meetings with all parties involved.

Gonzales declined to comment on her bill suggesting the inclusion of additional tribal licenses when asked for a response.

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What each sports betting bill involved.

The goal of HB2509 was to simplify the regulations surrounding sports betting and its associated activities.

The Gaming Commission, which is scheduled to begin operations on July 1, will be made up of a governor-appointed member who is a licensed CPA in Arizona or another state and has at least five years of general accounting experience, another member appointed by the governor with a minimum of five years of law enforcement experience, and a Director of the Gaming Commission with at least five years of experience in public or business administration.

The commission will have three new members appointed by the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

SB1674 aimed to create fairness in the sports betting industry by ensuring that tribes had the same access to revenue as professional teams.

In a February interview with yengols.com, Gonzales explained that the main objective of SB1674 was to allow the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona to engage in sports betting.

In the 2021 legislative session, HB2772 was passed, legalizing additional Arizona sports betting apps and distributing 10 licenses to tribes and 10 licenses to sports teams.

Gonzales told yengols.com that SB-1674 was inspired by the perceived unfairness in the distribution of licenses during the previous session under H.B. 1772. He believes that last year’s legislation was unjust and is proposing this bill as an amendment to create a fairer process for awarding commercial licenses in Arizona.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

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

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