The rollout of legalized sports betting in Arizona took its next step on Monday, with the Arizona Department of Gaming laying out the exact number of applicants for licenses.
Department Public Information Officer Maxwell Hartgraves said the state received 26 operator applications when the deadline closed on Aug. 9.
Who Gets the Spots?
Of those, 16 came from tribes, with another 10 applications from professional sports teams in the state.
In total, there are 20 operator licenses available, split evenly among teams and tribes, once legalized sports betting begins on Sept. 9.
The department now has until Aug. 27 to announce which entities received licenses, since there were more applicants than allocated slots, Hartgraves told BetArizona.com.
Regardless, Arizona is still on track to launch fantasy sports contests on Aug. 28, with sports betting beginning in early September.
The state’s market is expected to be popular when it goes live, according to a recent survey, commissioned by BetArizona.com, of residents.
Arizona gambling could be a boon for the state's economy. Legalized sports betting is expected to generate upwards of $200 million in business activity and more than $30 million in tax dollars, according to Dennis Hoffman, professor of economics at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
The department believes the dawn of legalized sports betting can generate upwards of $34.2 million in annual General Fund revenue by the 2024 fiscal year, by comparison.
“We’re in a world of guesses, at this point,” Hoffman said. “… The question is, will (sports betting) generate any residual or multiplier effects economically? I would make the case that if the alternative is spending that money on an offshore account, then it’s going to be a net positive to keep that money (in Arizona).
“So, you’ve got to keep in mind that all this money might have been leaking out to other states or countries, and now we’re collecting taxes on it and it’s staying in Arizona. So, all that is a good thing, economically speaking.”
Who’s Partnered Up?
So far, we know that all but one of the professional sports teams in the Valley (the Arizona Coyotes) has partnered with a sportsbook operator.
The Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM/Gila River Hotels and Casinos), Phoenix Rising FC (TBA), Phoenix Suns (FanDuel), Phoenix Mercury (Bally’s) and Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars Entertainment) have come forward so far.
Additionally, the PGA Tour/TPC Scottsdale has partnered with DraftKings, while Phoenix International Raceway/NASCAR and Barstool have announced a deal.