The Arizona Division of Gaming (ADG) announced it will accept applications for event wagering licenses — the state’s name for sports betting licenses — through March 4 at 5 p.m.
One license is reserved for a federally recognized tribe in Arizona, while at least one license is reserved for an Arizona sports franchise.
State has maximum of 20 licenses
Per Arizona state law, the ADG can award a maximum of 20 sports betting licenses: 10 to tribes and 10 to sports entities. Sixteen of those licenses have been awarded, with eight going to tribes and eight going to sports entities.
The state’s tribal sports betting partnerships are:
|Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
|Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
|Hard Rock Digital
|San Carlos Apache Tribe
|San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe
|Tohono O’odham Nation
|Desert Diamond Mobile LLC
The state’s sports entity partnerships are:
|Rush Street Interactive/BetRivers
With 16 licenses spoken for, the state has four more to award: two each to tribes and sports entities.
How the Arizona sports betting licensing process works
Interested tribes and sports entities can apply for an application through the ADG’s website. The application fee is $100,000 and the initial fee for a license is $750,000.
With just two licenses up for grabs, the ADG will likely have more applicants than available licenses. If that’s the case, it will follow a strict set of assessment guidelines to determine which applicants get licenses. The ADG will examine 19 different areas of the applicant’s operations, including:
- Able to launch sports betting within six months of getting a license
- Business ability and experience relevant to gaming
- How licensure would impact the applicant’s “surrounding tribal, local, or State community”
- Responsiveness and involvement of local management
- Exhibits a culture of responsible gambling
- Committed to making donations to the state or tribal lands
- Employment impact
The ADG has the right to develop additional criteria for selecting applicants, per state law.
Once the application window closes, the ADG will decide which applicants are qualified and then announce who those applicants are by March 15.
Who could get the remaining four licenses?
The list of potential applicants for the state’s sports betting licenses is relatively long. There are 14 federally recognized tribes that could apply for a license, including the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and White Mountain Apache Tribe.
On the sports side, all the major franchises and entities have licenses, leaving smaller franchises and events, including:
- Phoenix Rising FC (United Soccer League)
- Tucson Roadrunners: (American Hockey League)
- Tucson Saguaros (Pecos League)
- Northern Arizona Wranglers (Indoor Football League)
By mid-March, we’ll know who is in the running for licenses, and the ADG will likely make a decision before the summer. If the sports gambling market continues to thrive, maybe Arizona online casinos could be next.