Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe and the State of Arizona reach settlement in sports betting lawsuit.

Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe, State Settle Arizona Sports Betting Lawsuit
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The Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe has successfully resolved its yearlong legal dispute with the Arizona Department of Gaming and the Arizona Governor’s Office.

An official agreement was reached by the three parties on July 27 to settle the tribe’s lawsuit concerning HB 2772, which authorized mobile and retail Arizona sportsbooks, as well as the 2021 gaming compact. The settlement was approved by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Ryan on Monday.

In his Monday minute entry, Ryan granted the parties’ request to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, allowing the Northern Arizona tribe to enhance their Class III gaming operations at their casino by introducing sports wagering, fantasy sports contests, and live table games.

Ryan stated that the Joint Stipulation to Dismiss with Prejudice filed by the parties on July 26, 2022, has been officially approved as per the Order Re the Parties’ Joint Stipulation to Dismiss with Prejudice signed by the Court on July 27, 2022, and filed by the Clerk on July 29, 2022.

The lawsuit began in August 2021, with a judge ruling against the YPIT on Labor Day. The YPIT then filed an amended complaint in late September 2021. Since then, the case has been given five extensions as the parties work towards a settlement.

Sports betting apps are only allowed for tribes and professional sports teams licensed in Arizona by the state. Tribes included in the 2021 gaming compact can also conduct retail sports betting on tribal land.

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What is included in the Arizona Sports Betting Settlement?

According to the agreement, each party will be responsible for their own legal fees and expenses. Furthermore, YPIT will allocate its net winnings towards financing its new gaming options.

Bryan Newland, the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs for the Department of the Interior, affirmed in the Federal Register summary that the parties’ settlement request complied with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This indicates that the regulatory agency had no objections to the settlement.

The amendment will take effect on July 26th.

Newland clarified that the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe and the State of Arizona reached a consensus on the Compact and later on the Amendment. The Compact permits a range of gaming activities on the Tribe’s Indian lands, including video devices, card games, sports betting, and live table games. In return for exclusive rights in the State and managing regulatory expenses, the Tribe is obligated to make payments to the State from their profits. The Tribe is tasked with ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, with the Amendment offering clarification on specific terms and clauses in the Compact. Both the Compact and the Amendment have been given the green light.

yengols.com reached out to both the Arizona Department of Gaming and Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe for comment on the settlement, but they chose not to respond. Additionally, yengols.com has requested a copy of the settlement from the ADG.

Monday’s decision, according to Derrick Beetso, director of Arizona State University’s College of Law Indian Gaming and Self Governance Programs, paves the way for sports betting to continue without obstacles.

Beetso explained that this arrangement is advantageous for all parties, as it eliminates the need for ongoing legal disputes and brings peace of mind to operators, sports teams, and tribal partners.

Beetso highlighted in an email to yengols.com that the Federal Register notice outlines the allowance of various forms of Class III gaming on the Tribe’s Indian lands under the amended compact. Additionally, the compact specifies payment obligations for the Tribe in return for significant exclusivity in the State and coverage of regulatory costs. Furthermore, the compact addresses certain definitions and provisions to provide clarity.

In summary, the resolution of this legal conflict guarantees that Arizona’s sports betting can move forward with clearer guidelines, particularly regarding the role of Indian tribal governments as specified in IGRA and state gaming regulations.

Later this month, the state will kick off its second football season with legalized betting, and yengols.com has a range of exciting Arizona sportsbook promotions available.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has spent over seven years covering sports and sports betting in Arizona, with previous positions at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He now leads the writing team at yengols.com.

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