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Arizona Pass Sports Betting Bill; Look to Start in Fall

The Arizona legislature made national sports betting news on Monday night. The Arizona Senate legalized sports betting, making the bill move to the legislative process’s final step. All that needs to occur now is for Governor Doug Ducey to sign the bill into effect.

Governor Ducey has been outspoken about his support for legal sports wagering in the state.

The Legislative Process

A companion bill passed in the House before the Senate voted on Monday. SB 1797 passed, and it legalized event wagering and daily fantasy sports. The Senate Committee on Rules advanced the bill to the entire floor on Monday afternoon before the law passed by a 23-6-1 vote.

Once Governor Ducey signs the bill, the sports betting implementation process will begin. Ducey thought the bill would give the state and the tribal nations a significant boost in revenue. This is why the governor favored the form of gambling.

In his State of the State Address last week, he said sports betting gave “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.”

There were many questions about sports betting in Arizona because of the tribal nations that operate casinos. It was believed that there would only be retail betting allowed in the state for an extensive period.

Tribal nations wanted to use sports betting to bring people to their properties. Mobile betting defeated their goal, but the new compact benefited the tribes in a suitable manner for casino leaders. Therefore, the legislature was able to include mobile wagering in the bill.

A Massive Surprise

Very few people in the sports betting industry thought Arizona would pass a bill in 2021. Although, the disagreements were compromised during the negotiation process.

Arizona is the fourth state to pass sports betting in 2021. The first state was South Dakota who passed retail sports betting in Deadwood. Wyoming and Maryland followed with online betting. Maryland also passed retail sports wagering.

The state likely to follow is New York because Governor Andrew Cuomo included sports wagering in his 2022 budget. People thought that New York would pass sports betting before Arizona, but this did not occur.

The Rules Behind SB 1797

SB 1797 passed with ease in the Arizona Senate. The bill is going to benefit the state and tribal nations in a multitude of ways.

The bill legalized online sports betting and online daily fantasy wagers. Some Keno games can now be played at off-track betting facilities and social clubs. There is no iGaming included in the bill, which is not surprising considering very few states have passed online casino gaming.

The goal is for sports betting to be established before the 2021 NFL season. A significant reason that the sports betting bill was passed because Arizona’s four major sports teams supported the legislation.

The teams can open retail sportsbooks within a quarter-mile of their stadiums which will help their revenue rise. Ten licenses will be awarded to the tribal nations.

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