Arizona Plans Fall Sports Betting Launch; How Did it Get Here?

Arizona Plans Fall Sports Betting Launch; How Did it Get Here?

Arizona is rapidly approaching full, live operation of sports betting with some targeted goal dates to hit this month. Here is a timeline of how Arizona sports betting came to be on the cusp of operation.

Early 2021

Several forms of sports betting bills introduced and discussed. In his State of the State address, Gov. Doug Ducey announced “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.” He reportedly has negotiated a new deal with tribes, hoping it can boost state revenue by allowing gambling outside of tribal-run casinos.

Ducey’s proposal includes professional and college sports wagering, daily fantasy sports, Keno and it could include more tribal casinos (which currently have the exclusive right to most gaming options in the state) with more games and wagering being offered.

March 4

After its third reading in the state House with some amendments, House Bill 2772 was passed by a vote of 48-12 and moved to the state Senate. HB 2772 received enough bipartisan votes (nine Republicans and three Democrats voted against) to become effective immediately upon the governor's signature.

Introduced by Rep. Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler), HB 2772 would allow wagers to be placed online, would have daily fantasy sports wagering and also add limited Keno games at off-track betting locations and social clubs like the American Legion, Elks Club, etc.

April 12

The state Senate passes HB 2772, a bill to legalize event wagering and daily fantasy sports. The 23-6-1 vote came after the state Senate Committee on Rules advanced the bill to the full Senate earlier in the day.

April 15

A historic day as Ducey signs Arizona sports betting apps and fantasy sports legislation into law at The Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Shortly after the signing, the Phoenix Suns and FanDuel announced a multiyear market access partnership making the sports betting platform the Suns’ Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Sports partner. As part of the deal, FanDuel will open a retail sportsbook inside the Phoenix Suns Arena, expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2021-22 NBA season.

May 24

The U.S. Department of Interior gives its approval to the amended Arizona tribal-state gaming compact, finalizing an agreement to modernize gaming that was signed by Ducey and the state’s tribal leaders.

June 2

It is announced that Arizona sports betting intends to go live on Sept. 9, the day the 2021 NFL season kicks off with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

June 14

Draft rules for sports betting in the state will be available to the public for inspection and comment.

June 21

Public comment period ends after one week. The Arizona Division of Gaming (ADG) will have an amendment period and will file any amended rules as necessary, all pointing to the NFL opener as a tentative start date.

Sept. 9

The targeted official launch date for sports betting in Arizona.

Sept. 12

The Arizona Cardinals open their season at Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.



Lou Monaco has been a columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas and has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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