TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Legalized sports betting is coming to Arizona----at tribal casinos and other locations connected to sports teams. But you’ll have to be patient to actually place those sports bets.
Major changes to how Arizona handles legalized gaming required negotiating an agreement with the State of Arizona and Arizona’s 22 native tribes. All sides agreed it was a challenge and it took years to achieve it.
Stephen Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community told people gathered at a signing ceremony, “We argued before we agreed. And we fought. Before we found our middle ground. But here we are today, celebrating the most unique unicorn. I'll use that term in political life, in a genuine win for us all.”
Governor Doug Ducey said, “Certainly many said that this day would never happen. The compact amendments, and the associated legislation took over five years to negotiate and get to the point where we are right now.”
The agreement sets aside twenty sports gaming licenses. Ten would go to the tribes, ten to other entities like sports teams and sports gaming companies---which would set up physical gaming centers.
Mobile betting will be allowed for players who register through state license holders.
Sports gaming would not open right away. The Arizona Department of Gaming has to write the official operating rules but the goal is to be ready in time to allow betting on National Football League games.
Legislative budget analysts predict sports betting, plus new lottery and keno options, should bring the state more than 34 million dollars in revenue per year by 2024.