SaharaBets President Andrew Patterson emphasizes that the site’s main focus is solely on Arizona.

SaharaBets President Andrew Patterson Says Site’s Focus is ‘Totally on Arizona’

The Arizona Coyotes revealed a key player in the Arizona betting apps industry on Wednesday by announcing their operating partner.

Alex Meruelo, a businessman and owner of an NHL team, announced his plans to collaborate with his other business, SAHARA Las Vegas, to introduce a new mobile sports betting app called SaharaBets.

Starting January 12, Coyotes fans in Arizona can access a new application that will allow them to place NHL bets on a platform endorsed by their favorite team.

SaharaBets is set to become the seventh mobile sportsbook site to launch in Arizona through partnerships with professional sports teams. The Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, the only remaining team without a launched application, is partnered with Bally’s Arizona.

Andrew Patterson, President of SaharaBets, was recently interviewed by yengols.com. During the interview, they discussed the company’s partnership with the Coyotes and other relevant topics.

Below is a condensed and more concise version of the conversation transcript.

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Yengols.com inquired about the motivation behind SAHARA Las Vegas partnering with the Coyotes.

According to Andrew Patterson, SaharaBets was established by Alex Meruelo, the owner of SAHARA Las Vegas and the Sierra Resort in Reno.

After conducting a thorough analysis of the market and industry, he made the decision to merge assets in order to bring the thrill of Las Vegas and sports betting to fans of the Arizona Coyotes, of which he is the owner.

yengols.com: What are the upcoming strategies for the SaharaBets platform? Will it remain limited to Arizona or are there plans to expand to other states with casinos?

Patterson explained that SaharaBets is currently prioritizing Arizona as their main focus, thanks to their partnership with the Arizona Coyotes and their close proximity to the state as a Las Vegas-based company. They are actively targeting the Arizona market from the outset.

I believe Arizona ranks as the fifth largest market in the United States for sports betting based on reports from September and October.

As we shift our focus to Arizona, we see a promising opportunity on the horizon. While our long-term plans and strategies remain uncertain at this time.


yengols.com: Could you clarify the connections and relationships among SAHARA Las Vegas, SaharaBets, William Hill, Caesars, and other associated entities?

Patterson clarified that Alex Meruelo is the owner of Sahara and Meruelo Gaming, which runs SAHARA Las Vegas. William Hill is currently managing operations at SAHARA Las Vegas, with a particular emphasis on Arizona.

As we expand and seek out new possibilities, the future remains uncertain, as previously mentioned. William Hill has shown great success in their operations at SAHARA Las Vegas.

There have been minimal changes in the operation since Caesars acquired William Hill.

After analyzing the market, consumer behavior, and the resources of Meruelo Group and Meruelo Gaming, I am convinced that actively engaging customers through multiple channels is crucial for achieving maximum success.

SaharaBets is offering Arizona Coyotes fans special chances to interact with their team through sports betting and a mobile app. This project is designed to strengthen the bond between fans and the team by transitioning resources into the digital realm.

yengols.com: What motivated SAHARA to enter the Arizona sports market now?

Patterson: The Arizona market is highly competitive and has seen impressive results. It is evident that the larger national brands have flourished and driven the market’s growth.

In my opinion, DraftKings is the top-ranked, with FanDuel in second place, MGM in third, and possibly Caesars in fourth or close to it.

The market is currently dominated by national brands. So where does SaharaBets fit in? As I mentioned earlier, our focus is on providing a superior experience that goes beyond just a sports betting app. We are determined to compete with top sports betting casinos by offering a wide range of markets and competitive pricing.

Our primary objective is to engage fans in unique ways within the app, facilitating a smooth transition to interactions beyond the app. This differentiates us from our competitors in the market.


In your opinion, how is SaharaBets positioning itself in the Arizona sports betting market and what do you think about its potential for growth?

Patterson states that Arizona is a newcomer to the sports betting world, yet initial reports and outcomes are indicating early success.

This group of individuals frequently engages in sports betting, likely driven by their competitive spirit and the appealing incentives available in the market.

In September, we noted that the state’s revenue came primarily from retail establishments thanks to the option to deduct bonus and promotional funds, a departure from Nevada. However, despite this discrepancy, there is a strong desire to tap into the market, and we are excited about the potential opportunity.

Could SaharaBets potentially open a retail store in Arizona at some point?

Patterson stated that the future of retail expansion is currently uncertain. Although they are considering different strategies to grow their presence, no final decisions have been made yet regarding retail expansion.

What are SaharaBet’s thoughts on starting operations this month that you would like to share with others on yengols.com?

Patterson expressed excitement about entering the marketplace and emphasized their focus on providing customers with distinctive experiences and opportunities that go beyond the standard sports betting app.

Compared to other operators, we prioritize competitive pricing and providing a superior casino experience rather than focusing on bonusing. Our goal is to offer unique experiences both within the app and outside of it.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years. He has worked for ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News before becoming the lead writer at yengols.com.

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