Arizona Sports Betting

Heads up, Arizona! Sports betting is headed your way… very soon. As in Sept. 9, according to the Arizona Department of Gaming, though the situation and the timing are still fluid. The hope though if for sports betting in Arizona will be up and running in time for NFL betting, which means everything not only to those offering but those wishing to place those bets legally for the first time there.

Arizona’s timeline is moving fast. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the Arizona sports betting bill into law on April 15, and because it involves Native American tribes it required and received approval from the Department of the Interior on May 24. Partnerships are in the works and the rulemaking process is well underway.

The process to get legal betting to Arizona 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: July 26, 2021

PointsBet partnered with Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, owned by the Yavapai-Apache Nation, according to a release from the Australia-based gambling company. If a license is granted to the tribe by the ADG, Arizona would be the 16th state where PointsBet has market access. PointsBet joins WynnBet as the newest market access partnerships to be announced in the state. WynnBet announced a deal with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which operates two casinos in the state, in early July.

Meanwhile, the state released a final version of its sports betting rules, with the Arizona Department of Gaming in the final push to meet their stated goal of a Sept. 9 launch.

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. Other apps with deals in place include Bally Bet, Caesars Sports/William Hill, Kindred/Unibet, and WynnBet. AZ sportsbooks can also be expected to pop up in the home venues of the Coyotes and Cardinals, as both teams supported sports betting in Arizona during the legislative process.

Will there be online sportsbooks in Arizona?

Oh 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 (likely one app per licensee), 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. 9 target date 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.

Which online sportsbooks will launch in Arizona?

Although it’s impossible to know which companies will come to Arizona, there are some definite indications about some of them based upon the different deals between Arizona sports venues, Arizona tribes, and sportsbook brands. Even though the Arizona Department of Gaming has not announced its awarding of licenses yet, some sportsbooks clearly have the inside track in the Grand Canyon State. Already there is a potential cluster of retail sportsbooks in Phoenix.

SportsbookPartnerVenueLocationETA Retail LaunchETA Online Launch
DraftKings Sportsbook AZTPC ScottsdaleTPC ScottsdaleScottsdaleSeptember 2021September 2021
FanDuel Sportsbook AZPhoenix SunsPhoenix Suns ArenaPhoenixSeptember 2021September 2021
Caesars Sports AZArizona DiamondbacksChase FieldPhoenixSeptember 2021September 2021
Bally Bet AZPhoenix MercuryPhoenix Suns ArenaPhoenixSeptember 2021September 2021
Barstool Sportsbook AZNASCARPhoenix RacewayAvondaleSeptember 2021September 2021
WynnBet ArizonaSan Carlos Apache TribeApache Gold, Apache Sky casinosSan Carlos, WinkelmanUnknownUnknown
PointsBet ArizonaYavapai-Apache NationCliff Castle CasinoCamp VerdeUnknownUnknown
Unibet Sportsbook AZFort Yuma – Quechan TribeParadise CasinoYumaUnknownUnknown

DraftKings Sportsbook

The DraftKings brand has grown since its beginnings as a daily fantasy sports operator. It is considered one of the top sportsbooks in the US. An innovative and user-friendly app design features a betting carousel with easy-to-use customizations and a cash-out option. DraftKings AZ is a certainty to launch in Arizona, probably as one of the first apps. It partnered with TPC Scottsdale for market access.

FanDuel Sportsbook

If DraftKings is a sure bet in Arizona, so is FanDuel Sportsbook. The old DFS rivals have long fought for market share in most states where they are licensed. FanDuel’s app is a clean and simple design with a near-constant level of bonuses and odds boosts. It is often considered the best US online sportsbook available. FanDuel has a deal in place with the Phoenix Suns and, just like DraftKings, the launch of the FanDuel app is now only a matter of time.

Bally Bet

Bally Bet’s launch in Arizona will be the third state for the sportsbook app. A deal with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury means it too will have a retail book at Phoenix Suns Arena alongside FanDuel’s planned venue. The app itself is clean and easy to navigate with an eye-catching red-on-black theme. It comes with plenty of rewards programs and perks as well as the usual bonuses and promotions.

Caesars Sports/William Hill

Caesars Entertainment has locations spread across the globe and is a well-known entity in its own right. The company is in the process of switching its brands to Caesars Sports in all states where it has market access. Thanks to a merger with William Hill, the Caesars Sports app is serviceable and user-friendly.  A deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field means that there is no doubt the sportsbooks will arrive in Arizona soon.

PointsBet

Points betting is what makes PointsBet a unique member of the AZ sports betting market. PointsBet arrived in New Jersey first but has since been at the forefront of launches in several other states. That could include Arizona, thanks to a deal with the Cliff Castle Casino and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. But there are limited licenses for the 22 tribes in the state, so PointsBet’s launch depends on how the ADG determines tribal licensing.

WynnBet

WynnBet is the online sports betting arm of Wynn Resorts, a well-known gambling company in nearby Nevada. The AZ sportsbook’s arrival is thanks to a partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe and as long as regulators deem the tribe worthy of a license. If so, Arizonans can expect an easy-to-use app with a bevy of odds boosts and promos to choose from. The San Carlos Apache Tribe operates the Apache Gold Casino, which could feasibly host a sportsbook and/or kiosks.

Unibet

Unibet and its owner Kindred are a well-known brand in Europe, operating both sportsbooks and online casinos. It partnered with the Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, which owns a casino in Arizona and California. The deal allows not only for online and retail betting in AZ and California (should that ever come to pass) but also online gambling if either state legalizes. However, Unibet’s access to Arizona, like WynnBet and PointsBet, is dependant on the tribe getting a license.

Barstool Sportsbook

Barstool Sports merged with Penn National Gaming, a gambling giant in its own right, and became the public face of sports betting for the company in quick order. Arizona can expect to see the brand thanks to the expansion of a deal with NASCAR. The deal makes Barstool the exclusive sportsbook of Phoenix Raceway. It is entirely possible Barstool Sportsbook will be one of the first to launch in Arizona.

BetMGM Sportsbook

We list BetMGM Sportsbook here because it is hard not to mention the juggernaut that is MGM Resorts International and its online brand. Available in a multitude of states already, the app gives bettors more control over their wagers with a clean interface and easy-to-use Edit My Bet feature, allowing users to add, change, alter the bet size, and cash out without issue. But, BetMGM does not have an existing partnership in Arizona yet. But it is a mainstay in most legal sports betting states and there are plenty of other sports teams and tribes to partner with in the state.

Other possible Arizona sportsbook brands

So, sports betting and gambling companies clearly have their eye on Arizona. 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, many 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:

  • Debit cards
  • 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. The ADG has also noted that credit cards will not be an option for deposits.

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

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 25 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 retail in the state.

Of the 25 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/Mercury, WNBA)
  5. TPC Scottsdale (Phoenix Open, PGA Tour)
  6. Phoenix Raceway, Avondale (IndyCar, NASCAR)

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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