Arizona Awards Online Sports Betting License To Bet365

Arizona Awards Online Sports Betting License To Bet365
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Arizona Department of Gaming awarded one new sports betting license Tuesday morning, going with a U.K.-based wagering giant that’s already live in five other states.

Bet365 Arizona was awarded an online license in a tribal partnership with the Ak-Chin Indian Community. The license awarded to Bet 365 had previously been held by Fubo Sportsbook, also in partnership with the Ak-Chin.

Tuesday’s announcement brings the Arizona sports betting license count back to 18, including a full allotment of 10 to state tribes. That number will drop by one, however once WynnBET Arizona closes its operation in the state later this year. WynnBet is partnered with the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

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The ADG also took applications for two open licenses meant for “professional sports teams,” but a representative from the ADG told BetArizona.com that Bet365 would receive the only license during the current application window. Only eight of 10 possible Arizona betting apps licenses for pro teams have been operational since wagering launched in the state in Sept. 2021.

The ADG was authorized by HB-2772, which legalized Arizona sports betting, to allocate up to 20 wagering licenses — split evenly among teams and tribes. The ADG opened the current application window for the three available wagering licenses on Aug. 1, with operators having until Aug. 15 to submit their applications.

How The Process Works

The ADG’s rules for sports betting require an operator applying for one of the two open “professional sports team” licenses to play in a venue that has at least 10,000 seats. The state teams awarded licenses in Sept. 2021 were the Cardinals, Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Rattlers, Suns, Mercury, the TPC Scottsdale and the Phoenix Speedway. The Diamondbacks are partnered with Caesars Arizona Sportsbook for online wagering and Caesars retail sportsbook at Chase Field. The Ak-Chin community also has a Caesars retail location at its Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino.

Horse race track Turf Paradise was denied a pro sports team license in 2021 and currently holds a limited event wagering license good for retail sports betting only. In Tuesday’s release, the department said the allocation of the last remaining tribal sports betting license to Bet365 fulfills the allocation held by the Ak-Chin Indian Community, giving each of the licensed tribes access to the state’s wagering marketplace.

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Phoenix Rising Misses Out on License

The Phoenix Rising Football Club missed out on a license for the second time. Earlier this summer, Club Governor Bill Kraus told the Arizona Republic the USL Championship team would “absolutely” apply for one of the two available pro sports teams licenses. Rising also applied in 2021, when they were rebuffed by the ADG because they did not meet the criteria. But Phoenix Rising FC president Bobby Dulle said Tuesday afternoon the club's wagering partner was unable to meet the application deadline this time around.

"Phoenix Rising FC was eager to once again apply for an event-wagering license, however the extremely short notice and application window provided by the Arizona Department of Gaming made it impossible for our preferred designated sports betting operator to fulfill the required information by the deadline," Dulle said in a statement. "We are hopeful there will be another application window soon that will allow us more time to re-apply."

In 2021 Phoenix Rising’s application was denied when the ADG ruled the club didn’t qualify as playing at its sport’s top professional level, which in the United States is the MLS. The state statue requires that a team applying for a pro license is “playing at the highest level of the sport.”

Navajo Nation Gaming Loses Longtime CEO

In other Arizona tribal gaming news, the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise will have to find a new CEO, after Brian Parrish resigned to take another role earlier this month. Parrish, who has been in his role with the Northern Arizona tribe since 2014, guided the Navajo Nation through Arizona’s rollout of sports betting, helping the tribe land a wagering partnership with Florida’s Hard Rock Interactive.

In a tribal press release, Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Board Chairman Quincy Natay praised Parrish for his ability to land the Hard Rock wagering partnership, which was the first between tribal entities in the United States. Parrish will be replaced on an interim basis by Navajo Nation member Matthew Shunkamolah, who has worked in tribal gaming for more than a decade.

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Author

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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