What is the status and future of online betting in Arizona? 

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As it stands, sports betting is now legal in the state of Arizona. In fact, there are currently 18 sports betting apps that are accessible to Arizona natives. In the past, there were many who believed that Arizona would never be able to allow for online betting considering that the state government has a very complex relationship with the state’s tribal groups—particularly when it comes to gaming and betting. Of course, Arizona tribal governments had to give their official approval of the changes made to the state law in order to accommodate sports betting.

The state’s twenty tribes agreed to make changes to the 2021 Gaming Act after joining the state to sign the 2021 Arizona Gaming Compact. This is a federally mandated tribal-state agreement that was approved by the federal government back in May 2021. After that was finalized, relevant state regulations followed with licenses being granted to various operators towards the end of August 2021. This has resulted in Arizona being one of the most prominent states to offer online gambling options for its citizens.

As of now, the law dictates that as many as 40 mobile apps could go online in Arizona with up to two mobile platforms for each of the 10 tribes and 10 professional sports franchises that are being regulated by the state government. Experts predict that there will likely be around 20 apps with each licensee possibly requesting permission for a second app.

The rise of sports betting

This shouldn’t come as anyone’s surprise as sports betting has become an increasingly popular pastime among the gambling community for many years. With sites like BETMGM setting the standard for innovative and immersive sports betting, more and more fans are now funneling their cash into this growing sub-industry. Of course, gambling as a whole has always been a popular form of recreation and has been climbing steadily in popularity over the past few years in large part due to the developments of mobile gambling. But since sports are also continuing to dominate mainstream media and the pop culture psyche, the sports betting scene is also continuing to thrive as well.

It was mentioned earlier that in the past, very few could have predicted this series of developments that would eventually lead to Arizona legalizing its sports betting mechanisms. Perhaps the state government just saw the need to adapt their laws to emerging trends within the field of online gambling. The economic benefits of regulating one of the most lucrative categories of the betting market were far too much to ignore for state government officials.

The road to legalization

The truth is that Arizona isn’t the only state to have experienced a bumpy road when it comes to the legalization of sports betting. It was back in 2019 wherein legislation was first introduced in order to legalize sports betting in the state. However, there was formidable opposition from the tribal groups in the state and sports betting didn’t get much support from its proponents either. There were some people at that time who thought that the sports betting industry would eventually be legalized in Arizona, but there wasn’t much of a sense of urgency on the parts of the tribes to turn that idea into a reality. Many of the tribal states were happy with how things were being run and they didn’t want a potential competitor for how the gambling dollars were already being spent in the state.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state, it dealt a devastating blow to state revenues. As a natural result of a global pandemic, the state suffered significant hits in terms of its tourism industry. Hospitality workers were laid off and unemployment rates in the state increased dramatically. Many of the state leaders, including Governor Doug Ducey, also took note of the decreasing revenues of their state casinos. As various sectors of Arizona’s local economy looked around for alternative sources of income, online gambling seemed like one of the most logical choices. Of course, tribal groups had a stronghold on online gambling apps and that forced the state to put more effort into the establishment of online sports betting mechanisms to help stimulate a struggling economy.

The future of betting in Arizona

As of now, since major restrictions have been lifted, one can expect more betting operators to establish themselves in the state of Arizona.