Arizona Gambling Expansion Adds Retail Sportsbooks and More Tribal Casinos

| April 22, 2021 9:00 am PDT

Arizona Governor Douglas A. Ducey recently signed a bill that extended the state’s gaming compact for 20 more years with 22 native American tribes.

Along with that extension, which grants the tribes the exclusive right to operate casinos in Arizona, the bill adds sportsbooks to permitted gambling operations within the state. It also provides for adding more tribal casinos to the state’s gaming attractions.

The Arizona legislature earlier passed HB 2772 by super-majorities in both the House and Senate.

The law marks the first time gambling in Arizona will be legal outside of the state’s two dozen tribal casinos.

The major beneficiary of the new law could be retail sportsbooks.

Gambling has been the exclusive province of the state’s numerous tribes, and while HB 2772 allows sportsbooks at up to ten tribal casinos, it also permits another ten “retail” sportsbooks at places like the TPC Scottsdale golf course (TPC stands for Tournament Players Club), which would be operated by DraftKings.

Once it receives approval for its Scottsdale operation, DraftKings reportedly plans to make the venue a “19th hole experience.” This includes serving food and beverages to patrons there to bet and watch live sporting events.

DraftKings became the first official betting partner of PGA TOUR last year.

DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz spoke at a press release covering the deal.

“This momentous effort to pursue a first-of-its-kind sportsbook with the PGA TOUR is a testament to the vision of both organizations that we believe will ultimately benefit Arizona sports fans who want to legally bet on sports.”

HB 2772 also approves a possible Pascua Yaqui Tribe casino on the outskirts of Tucson. The tribe already operates Casino del Sol and Casino of the Sun in the Tucson area.

That prospective casino will not be operational any time soon.

In a statement released by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe just after the Governor’s signing of HB 2772 into law, the tribe noted that “the land will first need to be taken into trust by the United States[…] Development of a casino is not imminent, as additional steps must be taken before the process is final.”

According to the tribe’s statement, among those “final steps” would be working with the City of Tucson on any potential development.

The development of that new casino notwithstanding, HB 2772 provides for a total of four new tribal casinos, as well as the expansion of existing gaming floors.

The new law also permits wagering on professional and college sports as well as fantasy sports.

This does not limit only tribal casinos, but at venues operated by the various pro sports teams such as the Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Arizona Cardinals.

The law also provides the opportunity to apply for a sportsbook license to any site that hosts a PGA golf event (such as TPC Scottsdale) or hosts a race for NASCAR at Phoenix Raceway, for instance.

All this newly legal sports wagering will be available at both retail sportsbooks as well as via mobile betting apps.

The first of these are expected to begin operations as early as the end of 2021.

The law also permits electronic keno games at various horse racing tracks and fraternal organizations.

J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with poker, blackjack, and slots.

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