Arizona legislature sends sports betting bill to governor’s desk


Lawmakers in Arizona have decided to approve sports betting as well as additional gambling opportunities for Native American tribes. On Monday, the Senate approved a bill that was passed by the House in March. The bill now moves on to Governor Doug Ducey for signing. It was Ducey who negotiated the compact with the tribes and encouraged lawmakers to pass the measure.

Details of the Measure

The bill will legalize sports betting at professional sports teams’ sites as well as tribal casinos. Players will be able to wager on professional and college sports. Fantasy sports gambling is also allowed along with keno games added to fraternal groups and horse racetracks.

The legislation is connected to an updated compact for gaming that the governor was able to negotiate with the tribes. The exact details of the compact have not been provided to the public.

Back in January, Ducey completed his State of the State address in which he discussed how a modernized gaming compact would help Arizona. He pointed out that an updated version would provide more revenues for the tribal nations and the state’s budget. The governor has been focused on a new deal for quite some time and now will be able to bring his idea to reality.

Services Outside the Casinos

One of the main points of contention that the governor worked on with the tribes was offering gambling outside the casinos. A big part of this new bill is allowing the professional sports teams in the states to offer services.

The Coyotes, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals have the opportunity to use their Arizona home base to provide sports betting. A retail location can be placed within a quarter-mile of the team’s venue and online. In the state, the legislation allows for 10 licenses to be awarded to the sports industry. This includes NASCAR and golf.

For the tribes, they would also receive 10 licenses. Sports betting locations can be offered at 24 tribal casinos in the state. Over the years, the tribes have been protective of their exclusivity regarding gambling in the state. The tribes were operating based on the 2002 compact and it took some negotiating to complete an updated deal.

With the new compact, the tribes get to offer sports betting and they can build new casinos. The change will help the tribes as well as bring more revenues to Arizona. Additional games can be offered within the casinos including baccarat and craps. These games will be provided on top of slots, poker, and blackjack.

The bill also provides options for online gambling. Sites can use the available licensing and partner with casinos to offer services online.

The legislation and the 20-year extension of the gaming compact must both be adopted for the changes to move forward in the state.

Source: Worldcasinodirectory, Worldcasinonews

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