Understanding the Arizona Wagering License Window as it Opens

What to Know About Arizona Wagering License Window As It Opens
Fact Checked by Washington Erick

In the next two weeks, operators aiming to join one of America’s most popular sports betting markets must act now as this is their final chance.

After the application deadline of Aug. 15, the Arizona Department of Gaming will grant the last three mobile betting licenses in the state. These licenses will include two for professional sports teams and one for a tribal license.

HB-2772 granted the Arizona Department of Gaming the authority to distribute up to 20 wagering licenses for sports betting in Arizona, ensuring an equal allocation among teams and tribes.

The final tribal license was reportedly held by the Ak-Chin Indian Community before they teamed up with Fubo Sportsbook, which ceased its wagering platform operations in October.

At present, the tribe has formed a partnership with Caesars Sportsbook AZ for retail sports betting, offering the Caesars-branded sportsbook at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino.

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How The Process Works

To be eligible for one of the two “professional sports team” licenses, operators must comply with the ADG’s sports betting regulations, which require the team’s venue to have at least 10,000 seats.

Currently, the Cardinals, Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Rattlers, Suns, Mercury, TPC Scottsdale course, and Phoenix Speedway have all received licensure in September 2021. However, Turf Paradise, a horse race track, was denied a professional sports team license in 2021 and currently only has a limited event wagering license for retail sports betting.

A representative from the ADG stated to yengols.com that the department is ready to evaluate candidates for sports betting licensure and plans to notify applicants of their status by the end of the month.

The department announced that the application period for three event wagering licenses began on August 1, 2023, and will close on August 15, 2023. In order to qualify for a license, applicants must submit their completed applications by this deadline. All applications will be evaluated by the ADG in accordance with the state’s event wagering regulations. More information is available on the ADG Website.

 

Who will show interest in obtaining an Arizona betting license this time around?

Phoenix Rising Football Club, currently competing in the USL Championship, has announced their plan to apply for licensure.

When asked about specific wagering plans, a club representative declined to comment and instead directed yengols.com to statements made by Bill Kraus, the club governor for Phoenix Rising, in the Arizona Republic.

In July, Kraus confirmed to The Republic that Rising would be submitting an application for one of the two sports teams’ licenses. The club had applied in 2021 but was denied by the ADG for not meeting the criteria to be considered a “professional sports team.”

Kraus informed The Republic that the problems with our first application have been resolved.

One of the main questions raised was whether Rising could be seen as competing at the top professional level in soccer, as they are not a part of the 30-team MLS, which is a more widely acknowledged league than USL on Arizona sports betting apps.

Kraus argued that Phoenix Rising FC met the criteria for playing at the highest level of the sport as outlined in Arizona’s sports betting laws, despite the lack of any MLS teams in the state and no current plans for expansion teams.

Kraus talked about Section 5-1301, 14 of the statute, which outlines the definition of “professional sport” as a sport played at the highest level of league or organizational play, such as baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, soccer, and motorsports.

A Turf Paradise representative told yengols.com that the Phoenix horse racing facility is unlikely to apply in the current round due to their lack of success two years ago.

Vincent Francia, the track’s general manager, told yengols.com that they are contemplating the possibility of pursuing it, but their previous license application was denied, so they may ultimately decide against it due to the past rejection.

The Tucson Sugar Skulls of the Indoor Football League and Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League, two teams lacking sports betting licensure in the state, did not provide any response to inquiries regarding their potential participation in sports betting.

Who is eligible to apply for a wagering license in Arizona?

Fanatics Betting and Gaming is well positioned to obtain one of the final three licenses in Arizona, thanks to their successful mobile betting ventures in Tennessee and Ohio, along with a retail partnership with the Washington Commanders in Maryland.

Earlier this year, the betting startup made headlines by outbidding DraftKings Sportsbook to purchase PointsBet’s U.S. sports betting assets from Australia for $225 million. This strategic move could open the door for the apparel giant to expand into the Arizona market, becoming their third mobile wagering market.

PointsBet was denied a license in the 48th State by the ADG two years ago due to a technical error. However, if Fanatics chooses to operate them as an independent affiliate, the Australian operator could potentially have the chance to apply for a license in the future.

A notable partnership between two operators can be seen in the collaboration between DraftKings and Golden Nugget. This partnership was solidified when DraftKings acquired Golden Nugget for $1.56 billion in August 2021. Both companies are authorized for mobile sports betting in Arizona. DraftKings Arizona has the highest handle in the state, amounting to approximately $3.1 billion over a span of 20 months. On the other hand, Golden Nugget holds the 18th position with a handle of just over $1.8 million over 15 months.

A representative from Circa Sports told yengols.com that the Las Vegas operator is exploring the idea of expanding its portfolio to include the state, even though it currently operates in states like Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada.

Aaron Oster, Marketing Manager for Circa Sports, stated in an interview with yengols.com that there are no updates on expansion in Arizona at this time. However, the company is actively seeking opportunities to offer the ultimate sports betting experience to as many bettors as possible.

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

Representatives from Fanatics Betting and Gaming, Betr, Bet365, and Tipico Sportsbook declined to comment on their future licensing plans in Arizona.

Keep checking yengols.com for the most recent news and best deals from Arizona sportsbooks.

 

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher, with more than seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona, currently holds the position of lead writer at yengols.com. He has also contributed to various publications such as ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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