Arizona Opens Application Process For Available Event Wagering Licenses

Written By J.R. Duren on January 18, 2024
Arizona Sports Betting Licenses

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: 

Tribe     Partner
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation     Betfred
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe     Superbook
Hualapai Tribe     Golden Nugget
Navajo Nation     Hard Rock Digital
Quechuan Tribe     Unibet
San Carlos Apache Tribe    WynnBet
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe    BetWay
Tohono O’odham Nation    Desert Diamond Mobile LLC

 

The state’s sports entity partnerships are: 

Entity     Partner
Arizona Cardinals     BetMGM
Arizona Coyotes     SaharaBets
Arizona Diamondbacks     Caesars
Arizona Rattlers     Rush Street Interactive/BetRivers
Phoenix Mercury     Bally’s
Phoenix Speedway     ESPN Bet
Phoenix Suns     FanDuel
TPC Scottsdale     DraftKings

 

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.

Photo by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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