We now have a much better idea of when the Arizona Department of Gaming will release its allotment of limited event wagering operator’s licenses.
The department released a blueprint Friday, with the ADG allocating two weeks to review application materials before notifying selected applicants Jan. 24.
The department will wrap up its review process for the licenses Jan. 21, giving them eight business days to reach a consensus.
The deadline for operators to submit applications for the 10 available licenses was Dec. 30, after the original Nov. 22 deadline was extended by the department.
The limited licenses allow racetrack enclosures or off-track betting locations that hold Arizona Department of Racing permits to offer in-person sports betting so long as they’re at least five miles from tribal gaming, an event wagering facility, or a fellow limited event wagering operator.
Limited license holders are not allowed to offer Arizona betting apps.
Who Qualifies for a Limited License?
One key entity known to have applied for the limited license was Phoenix’s Turf Paradise Racing, which sued the state in August after its mobile event wagering operator’s license was declined by the ADG.
The horse racing track filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court in late August. Turf Paradise told BetArizona.com in November it planned to put in an application for a limited event license.
“It gives us the opportunity to get our feet wet with sports betting,” Turf Paradise General Manager Vincent Francia told BetArizona.com on Nov.10. “But I wish to preface before that, that we are still pursuing via court to be in the first group that has been allowed sports betting. We haven’t given up on that yet.”
Aside from Turf Paradise, other horse racing facilities that could apply to offer limited sports gambling in Arizona include Tucson’s Rillito Park Race Track and Prescott Valley’s Arizona Downs — both of which meet the qualifying standards set forth by the department.
The only other horse racing facilities in the state of Arizona are connected to county fairs — the Cochise County Horse Racing Commission and the Santa Cruz County Fair in Sonoita.
Whether either of those entities applied for a limited event wagering operator’s license is unknown.
Interested facilities were required to submit a $1,000 application fee, in addition to a $1,000 initial license fee, and a $5,000 annual renewal fee, when they submitted their limited event wagering operator’s license materials.
For now, everyone that applied will hold their respective breath, with a final decision on licenses expected to come before the end of the month.