Arizona Sports Betting

Heads up, Arizona! Sports betting is headed your way… very soon. Arizona legalized single-event wagering in April 2021. The process required multiple bills, bipartisanship, and rewriting the compact that governs the gambling relationship between the state and tribal entities. It also required overcoming multiple snags before the law emerged. In the end, Arizona will get multiple mobile betting options and retail sportsbooks at casinos and pro sports venues.

As Arizona sports betting kicks into gear, we will keep tabs on all the ins and outs and updates. Here’s what we know right now in the Copper State.

Latest updates

Updated: May 6, 2021

Caesars Entertainment announced plans to build a full-time sportsbook in Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal, by law, gives the team the right to offer state-wide mobile sports betting through its license. The Phoenix Suns have a similar deal with FanDuel.

After Gov. Doug Ducey signed the AZ sports betting bill into law on April 15, regulators got to work on crafting license fees, tax rates, and types of wagers allowed in the state. The goal is for a relatively quick launch, likely by the start of NFL season. In fact, the law comes equipped with an emergency status to help launch Arizona sports betting quicker.

The Arizona Department of Gaming has a 60day statutory requirement to draft rules and regulations. A public comment period is next, followed by an amendment period. However, despite the goal of being speedy, Arizona regulators have not yet set an official start date.

Is sports betting legal in Arizona?

Yes. Online sports betting in Arizona was legalized, as was betting at retail sportsbooks. Twenty licenses will be issued as part of the passage of HB2772 and SB1797. Ten licenses will go to tribal operators. A tribe can apply one license to multiple properties it owns. Meanwhile, 10 Arizona sports gambling licenses will go to professional sports teams based there.

This will include Phoenix Raceway, which hosts NASCAR and IndyCar races. Before Gov. Doug Ducey made Arizona sports betting a reality with his signature, DraftKings announced a deal to partner on a sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale with the PGA Tour. Soon afterward, FanDuel revealed it will build its own at Phoenix Suns Arena. Instantly, golf betting and NBA betting were securely in the mix for AZ sports betting.

AZ sportsbooks can also be expected to pop up in the home venues of the Coyotes and and Cardinals, as both teams supported sports betting in Arizona during the legislative process.

Will there be online sportsbooks in Arizona?

Yes. The 20 licenses allow an Arizona sportsbook operator to have both a retail and online option in the state. While the law allows for online betting sites, it excludes and does not address online casinos in Arizona. That gambling market is still a no-go in the state.

When will sports betting launch in Arizona?

If all goes well, expect sports betting to arrive in fall 2021. The Arizona Department of Gaming must set regulations, so a Sept. 1 target date sought by legislators can be reached. This will also give time for other national brands hoping to set up Arizona sports betting sites to apply and attain proper licensing. Fall is seen as a crucial unofficial deadline for most states that vote for legal sports betting because NFL betting is one of the most popular markets. AZ online sports betting, and the in-stadium sportsbook venues, figures to follow the same pattern.

Can you play daily fantasy sports contests in Arizona?

Yes. In addition to legalizing sports betting, HB2772 and SB1797 legalized daily fantasy sports contests, Keno, and mobile draw. Arizona law had not allowed for daily fantasy sports previously. DraftKings and FanDuel each announced their intentions to expand on their existing DFS relationships when they decided to leap into the state. As such, FanDuel became an official fantasy partner of the Suns as a part of their deal to open a luxury in-arena sportsbook.

Who will regulate Arizona sports betting?

The Arizona Department of Gaming will oversee AZ sports betting in its entirety. This includes the tribal properties and their retail sportsbooks as well as all online apps connected to the tribes. In fact, the tribes and the state essentially collaborate on industry regulations, and this relationship carries over into sports betting.

How old do I have to be to bet on sports in Arizona?

21. Arizona sportsbooks (online and on-site) will employ the same age minimums as state casinos, horse tracks, and the lottery.

Where will I be able to make legal sports bets in AZ?

Arizona sportsbooks will open in tribal casinos and in pro sports venues. AZ sports bettors will also be able to place bets on mobile apps or on computers. This means there will be a plentiful amount of options for betting legally in the state.

Casino sportsbooks

Arizona has zero commercial casinos, but it does have 24 tribal properties. That means a majority of the retail wagering will take place at tribal casinos. It’s possible operators such as BetMGM and William Hill will attempt to partner with these casinos in order to launch in the state.

Of the 24 casinos, the largest to likely host a sportsbook include:

  • Casino del Sol — Tucson
  • Desert Diamond Casino — Chandler
  • Harrah’s Ak-Chin — Maricopa
  • Fort McDowell — Fountain Hills
  • Gila River — Laveen
  • Casino Arizona — Scottsdale

Not all of the state’s tribal casinos are expected to open a sportsbook. However, the new Arizona sports betting law calls for up to four new casinos in the Phoenix and Tuscon area, which means additional sportsbook locations are possible. We will have to see what develops in Arizona.

Professional sports venues

Ten pro sports venues may apply for AZ sportsbook licenses, too. Just six are currently accounted for:

  1. State Farm Stadium, Glendale (Cardinals, NFL)
  2. Gila River Arena, Glendale (Coyotes, NHL)
  3. Chase Field, Phoenix (Diamondbacks, MLB)
  4. Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix (Suns, NBA)
  5. TPC Scottsdale (Phoenix Open, PGA Tour)
  6. Phoenix Raceway, Avondale (IndyCar, NASCAR)

Which online sportsbooks will launch in Arizona?

DraftKings and FanDuel have made their intentions clear with their support of the bill and quick grab for market access. Pending approval, DraftKings would be able to set up a betting site by partnering with the pro sports venue at TPC Scottsdale. FanDuel announced a similar deal to operate through the license the Suns hope to secure for Phoenix Suns Arena. Expect most of the major brands to seek out market access deals in a state with one of the top 15 populations in the US, a full slate of professional teams, two Pac-12 universities, major auto races, and golf tournaments.

On top of all of that, lots of tourists come to enjoy those games and the weather in the winter. Arizona is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2023 in Glendale. Arizona would become the first state where sports betting is legal and underway while hosting the biggest game of the year.

Some sportsbooks you would be most likely to see launch are:

Do I have to be in Arizona to bet online?

Yes, you most certainly do. Geolocation software baked into the AZ sports betting app on your phone or computer will make sure that you are within state lines and legally allowed to bet. On your phone, the app uses your device’s built-in GPS to locate you. On a desktop browser, you may be asked to download geolocation software.

Of course, you could drive to Nevada and bet online legally there. Or drive northeast and bet legally online in Colorado, too. Arizona legislators would prefer you hang around, though.

How Arizona online sports betting sites will work

Arizona will utilize remote registration, which is an industry favorite. This allows customers to sign up and fund their online accounts from the comfort of their homes. As long as they are inside the state, anyone age 21 or older can sign up for an account from anywhere in the state.

In the future, once online sports betting has launched, the first thing to do is to follow one of our links to the sportsbook you’re interested in. Make sure to note if we have any exclusive offers to use — there might be free money available.

Next, click on the button for your mobile device’s format. There should be buttons for both iOS (Apple) and Android users. For iPhone users, download the app through the usual process to get started. Make sure to double-check whether there is an app that is specific to residents of Arizona. Android users need to set their phones to allow installations from other sources. Then, a visit to the site through their browsers (Chrome) gets the download started.

Registering for an AZ sportsbook account

Whether in-person or through remote registration, you will need to provide some information to activate your account. You will need various bits of personal information in order to generate your new sports betting account.

Information you may have to provide includes:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Cell phone number
  • Address
  • Social Security number (or last four digits)

Additionally, you will need to designate a username and password to allow you access to your account. The site may ask you to provide answers to selected challenge questions in order to construct an extra layer of security. Finally, there may be an optional box for a bonus code somewhere in the registration area. If our link indicates that there is a code, make sure to enter it here.

How do I deposit money into an online sportsbook account?

Once you sign up and have an active account, you need to transfer funds in and out of your account to place bets. Arizona sports betting sites are very likely to follow the same systems that are used in other legal states.

Deposits

In order to get started, you need to deposit funds into your new sportsbook account. Some operators might try to get you to do this immediately after registering, but don’t proceed until you are comfortable doing so. Once you’re ready to deposit, you will have a variety of available options for transferring money online. So that all players have at least one method that will work for their financial situation, most sportsbooks have many choices. Some of the options to fund your account include:

  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
  • Online bank transfers (similar to online bill pay)
  • Wire transfers
  • Electronic checks (ACH or VIP Preferred)
  • Prepaid cards (Play+)
  • Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill, etc.)
  • Cash at the land-based casino cage
  • Checks or money orders

Not all sportsbooks will have all of these options. Furthermore, the options at a particular site can change as they negotiate new deals with vendors. A common problem when using credit cards is some banks simply won’t allow deposits into gambling sites with their credit cards. Some major banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo are known to decline transactions that go to gambling-based merchants. If your bank does accept a credit card deposit to a sportsbook, it could treat the deposit as a cash advance. Cash advances on credit cards can come with hefty fees attached, so be sure to investigate your card’s terms and conditions before you use this method.

Cashing out and withdrawals

In most cases, there are fewer methods for withdrawal than there are for deposits at online sportsbooks. The simple truth is that not all deposit methods can flow both directions. Furthermore, some withdrawal methods are only available if you used that method to deposit in the first place.

PayPal and Skrill often fall under this restriction, so make sure to investigate withdrawal methods before you deposit. Traditionally, most sportsbooks prefer to process withdrawals through either electronic or paper checks. So, if you can receive e-checks, that’s probably going to be the fastest method to withdraw. Possible withdrawal methods at online sportsbooks include:

  • Online bank transfers (similar to online bill pay)
  • Wire transfers
  • Electronic checks (ACH or VIP Preferred)
  • Prepaid cards (Play+)
  • Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill, etc.)
  • Cash at the land-based casino cage
  • Checks

What sports can I bet on in Arizona?

Arizona is home to the four pillars of sports: MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. Additionally, two schools that compete in an NCAA Power Five conference are also located in the state. This means, once sports betting is underway, customers will have a number of teams to place wagers on.

The MLS could eventually place an expansion franchise in the area, too. The PGA Tour, NASCAR and IndyCar hold events in the Valley of the Sun yearly. Luckily for AZ sports bettors, wagering on college games will be allowed, although prop bets will not. Additionally, as with all legal betting jurisdictions, you will not be able to bet on high school sports or events where the majority of participants are minors.

Betting on Arizona sports

Odds are, traditional bets like single-match outcomes, parlays, and professional props will be available at AZ sportsbooks. Here’s what you can expect to see:

  1. Moneyline: A traditional wager where sportsbooks offer lines suggesting the odds of any given team winning a single event. Each line is based on a $100 wager. Favorites carry a negative number; for example, odds of -110 tell bettors they need to bet $110 to win $100. Underdogs carry a positive number; for example, a +110 says bettors can win $110 on a $100 wager.
  2. Over/under: These numbers indicate how many points, goals, runs, etc., are expected to be scored in a single game. Bettors simply wager on more or less than the given amount.
  3. Spreads: Another traditional wager, these numbers tell bettors how many points/goals/runs a team is favored by. The public can lay money down on the underdog to “cover the spread” (losing by less than the given amount or winning outright) or for the favorite to win by more than the number indicated.
  4. Parlays: These are bets that involve multiple events. Parlay bets are commonly risky but offer big rewards on small wagers. Each bet is known as a “leg,” and if you get one leg wrong, the entire bet fails.
  5. Props: These are bets based on the performance of individual players: yards rushed, points scored and so on.
  6. Futures: These wagers rely on a season’s outcome rather than a single game. Betting on who wins the Super Bowl, NBA Finals or Stanley Cup are examples of futures wagers.
  7. In-play or live betting: Bets made on an event while the event is ongoing and with odds changing in real time.

History of sports betting in Arizona

The fate of legal sports betting in Arizona seemed doomed this year because of a typographical error in another bill. Arizona lawmakers were forced to file a strike everything amendment — translation: delete all of it — to SB1293 when a provision meant to ensure Phoenix Raceway would be allowed to apply for an operator license accidentally included the WestWorld convention center in Scottsdale.

The bill, which was written to include venues that hold NASCAR races and car auctions, was supposed to contain language that allowed venues with upward of 150,000 capacity to apply. It read “ONE HUNDRED FIFTY,” which loops in WestWorld (site of the annual Barrett-Jackson auction) and likely scores more places. An amendment was later filed to correct the wording, but the error was thought to have eroded support from the Native American gaming interests in the state. The support from Arizona’s 22 tribes had been a huge part of bringing any potential sports betting bill to the spotlight.

The entire process of establishing sports betting in Arizona had been fraught with problems in the 2021 legislative session, too. A Senate proposal appeared to sink the whole thing earlier in the session when sports betting was tacked onto a bill that would legalize historical horse racing as a benefit to the state industry. That would not have been allowed under the existing tribal compact.

In March of 2021, however, the Arizona House voted to pass HB2772 and the Senate passed a mirror bill to send both to Gov. Ducey. He signed them into law in April, alongside an updated tribal compact. Crucially, tribal leaders supported the bills, and sports betting is on its way to the Copper State.

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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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