It appears any resolution in the ongoing Arizona sports betting lawsuit filed by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe against Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the state will have to wait a little longer.
In a joint status report filed by lawyers representing Ducey, as well as Arizona Department of Gaming Director Ted Vogt and the tribe late last week, the parties agreed to an updated calendar for the lawsuit while the two sides continue to work on a settlement.
In early November, the two sides received a 60-day stay as they tried to hammer out a settlement.
What the Latest Update Means
The two sides have yet to agree upon a settlement after meeting and conferring about the subject, the report says.
“In compliance with the Court’s Order, the Parties have met and conferred on the topics above,” the report reads. “The Parties advise this Court that they have been diligently working to settle this matter and believe settlement remains imminent and likely; however, no settlement to date has been finalized given the complexity of the subject matter, the multiple parties involved, and the intervening holiday season.”
As the two sides work toward a settlement, the status report proposes a new timeline for motions in the case that stretches into April. The state previously filled a motion to dismiss the case in October.
How We Got to this Point
This litigation surrounding Arizona betting apps was brought by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe in late August. The suit argued Arizona House Bill 2772, which legalized sports betting in the state, was a violation of the state’s Voter Protection Act and Proposition 202, which legalized gaming on Indian land.
The initial complaint filed in late August was dismissed on Labor Day by Superior Court Judge James Smith, who said in his ruling the YPIT did not show why their legal action was necessary.
“The Tribe did not show that H.B. 2772 likely violates the Tribe’s rights regarding event wagering as compared to Sports Franchise Owners,” Smith’s Labor Day order read. “The Tribe did not show that public policy favors its requested injunctive relief.”
The Tribe filed an amended complaint in late September. The Governor’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss in mid-October, arguing the Tribe waited too long to file its complaint, and its actions could have dire consequences for the 10 Arizona tribes and eight sports teams that have received sports betting licenses.
More on the Latest Filing
Derrick Beetso, who serves as director of Arizona State University’s College of Law Indian Gaming and Self Governance Programs, said in an email to BetArizona.com that both sides seem willing to work out their differences.
“It seems the parties still believe a settlement will happen but it's taking a long time to get there,” Beetso said. “As a result, they seem to be unpausing the court proceedings in order to respect the judicial process and not keep the judge waiting. My sense is they'll continue to seek a resolution while meeting the court's deadlines, and perhaps restarting the court process helps the parties achieve resolution here.”