The final professional sports team to unveil its Arizona betting partner did so Wednesday.
The Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League, SAHARA Las Vegas and Grand Sierra Resort of Reno have officially teamed up to launch a digital sports platform called SaharaBets.
The Arizona sports betting application will be available to download starting Jan. 12. The Coyotes are majority-owned by Chairman and Governor Alex Meruelo, who also owns the SAHARA and Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. The retail sportsbooks at both the SAHARA and Grand Sierra are run in collaboration with William Hill, an English company that was acquired by Caesars Entertainment in April 2021.
“The Coyotes are dedicated to providing innovative and entertaining experiences for our great fans,” Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in the press release. “Our partnership with SaharaBets will offer next-level gaming experiences for fans who want to unleash their competitive spirit.”
SaharaBets President Andrew Patterson expressed similar sentiments in the release, calling the SAHARA-Coyotes partnership a win-win for both sides.
“SaharaBets brings the excitement and reputation of the iconic SAHARA Las Vegas to sports fans here in Arizona,” Patterson said in the press release. “As the sports betting landscape continues to evolve in the Valley, SaharaBets looks forward to collaborating with the Coyotes organization to engage and interact with sports fans in fun and unique ways.”
Where Coyotes Deal Leaves State Marketplace
The Coyotes' partnership with SAHARA caps off the final unknown among the eight Arizona sports teams that received mobile sports betting licenses in August from the Arizona Department of Gaming.
Other teams that have already launched operations are the Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars Sportsbook Arizona), Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM Arizona), Arizona Rattlers (BetRivers Arizona) and Phoenix Suns (FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona).
Additionally, the PGA Tour/TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona) and Phoenix International Raceway (Penn National Gaming/Barstool Sports) launched in 2021.
The Phoenix Mercury (Bally’s Arizona) are the only other sports team to receive a license yet to launch operations.
Of the 10 licensed tribes in Arizona only the Navajo Nation have yet to announce their partner. The Hualapai Tribe (Golden Nugget) and the San Juan Paiute Tribe (Digital Gaming) have yet to launch operations.
Tribes and sports teams that received licenses have 180 days from the time sports betting opened (Sept. 9) to launch operations. If the remaining entities don’t launch by March 8, their licenses return to the state.
A representative from Bally’s Arizona told BetArizona.com the company will be operational by the deadline.
Attempts to reach the Navajo Nation, as well as the Hualapai Tribe, Golden Nugget, the San Juan Paiute Tribe and Digital Gaming were not returned.
Who’s Licensed to Operate in Arizona?
A total of 18 operators were licensed by the ADG in August, split between 10 tribes and eight professional sports teams.
Tribes that are part of the 2021 compact can conduct retail sportsbook operations on tribal grounds without a license. The Ak-Chin Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham, and Pascua Yaqui Tribe have all recently opened retail sportsbooks.Sports Betting Licensees
- Ak-Chin Indian Community (Fubo Gaming)*
- Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM Arizona)*
- Arizona Coyotes (SaharaBets)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars Sportsbook Arizona)*
- Arizona Rattlers (BetRivers Arizona)*
- Fort Mohave Indian Tribe (SuperBook Sports)*
- McDowell Yavapai Nation (Betfred Arizona)*
- Hualapai Tribe (Golden Nugget)
- Navajo Nation (TBA)
- Phoenix Mercury (Bally Bet)
- Phoenix Speedway (Penn National Interactive/Barstool Sports)*
- Phoenix Suns (FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona)*
- Quechan Tribe (Unibet Arizona)*
- San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (Digital Gaming)
- San Carlos Apache Tribe (WynnBET Arizona)*
- Tohono O’odham Nation (Kambi Group)*
- Tonto Apache Tribe (TwinSpires Sportsbook Arizona)*
- TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona)*
- Ak-Chin Indian Community (Caesars Sportsbook)*
- Gila River Indian Community (BetMGM Arizona)*
- Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Scientific Gaming)*
- Yavapai-Apache Nation (IGT PlaySports)
* — Have launched operations