What is the future of the Arizona sports betting lawsuit?

What’s Next for the Arizona Sports Betting Lawsuit

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s lawsuit seeking to shut down new Arizona sports betting apps. A legal expert in the state is optimistic about the motion’s chances of success.

The motion argues that the Tribe, which originally filed their lawsuit on August 27, waited too long to submit their complaint, potentially endangering the 10 Arizona tribes and eight sports teams that have obtained Arizona sports betting licenses.

In an email to yengols.com, Derrick Beetso, the director of the College of Law Indian Gaming and Self Governance Programs at Arizona State University, stated that Governor’s motion is likely to be approved by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith.

Beetso mentioned in an email that Judge Smith will evaluate the motion and response from the Tribe’s attorney before making a decision on dismissing the case. It is important to note that Judge Smith had previously rejected the Tribe’s request to stop the implementation of the state law in question, so the Tribe needs to bolster their legal arguments in order to proceed with the litigation.

The YPIT originally filed a lawsuit at the end of August to stop the launch of sports betting on Labor Day, but Judge Smith denied their request. The Tribe then submitted an amended complaint in late September.

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An examination of the motion on Monday

The Governor’s legal team cited Judge Smith’s Labor Day ruling in their argument for the dismissal of the YPIT’s amended complaint.

In the motion to dismiss filed on Monday, it was argued that the court had previously determined that YPIT’s claims were unlikely to succeed because of various legal flaws. The motion pointed to the Labor Day ruling and highlighted YPIT’s new strategy of claiming that the Governor unfairly targeted them for unequal treatment during the negotiation of the 2021 Compact Amendments.

Nevertheless, the FAC is continuing its efforts to legally challenge or invalidate H.B. 2772, rather than the 2021 Compact Amendments. The latest accusations from YPIT fail to address the underlying weaknesses in their case against H.B. 2772 that were previously highlighted by the Court.

Beetso clarifies that the motion to dismiss is centered on the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe’s inability to demonstrate how their claim can be resolved through legal proceedings. The tribe’s lawsuit is specifically directed at Arizona House Bill 2772, rather than the 2021 gaming compact.

Beetso clarified that Ducey’s motion contends that the Tribe has not presented a valid legal claim for the Court to consider. The motion also emphasizes the interests at stake, including those of the 20 Arizona tribes that have endorsed the 2021 amended gaming compact. Of these tribes, half have already received permission to participate in sports betting within the State.

What Happens Next in the Case

Smith directed the attorneys representing Gov. Ducey and the tribe to convene within the next 10 days to create a timeline for future discussions regarding any impending motions or legal filings.

There are no future court dates scheduled for the case in the Maricopa County Superior Court docket at this time.



Peterson Christopher

For more than seven years, Peterson Christopher has been immersed in the world of sports and sports betting in Arizona. He now serves as the lead writer at yengols.com, following previous roles at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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