The 12th partnership in Arizona sports betting is in the books, with Betfred USA Sports and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation joining forces.
The two sides will collaborate on a retail sportsbook at the nation's We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, located in Fort McDowell, in addition to launching a mobile and online betting platform under the Betfred Sports brand.
They will seek regulatory approval for their pact from the Arizona Department of Gaming, which has received 10 applications from professional sports teams and 15 from tribes for AZ sportsbook apps so far.
NFL Season Kicks Off Betting
Arizona will license 20 sportsbook operators once wagering begins with the 2021 NFL season on Sept. 9. Ten licenses will go to sports teams and professional sports facilities, while another 10 will be allocated to Indian tribes.
The ADG said in an email Wednesday the state is on track to hit the target launch date.
"The partnership announcement with Betfred Sports marks a new chapter for We-Ko-Pa," said Bernadine Burnette, President of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. "We are excited about the prospect of sports betting in Arizona and are thrilled to pursue an event wagering license to allow us to offer sports betting to our retail and digital customers."
Daily fantasy sports contests in the state, which can launch on Aug. 28, are also on track, the department said in an email Wednesday.
The ADG has until Aug. 16 to determine which applicants qualify for licenses, or until Aug. 27, should there be more applicants than available licenses.
After launching similar products in several states, Mark Stebbings, Betfred Group's chief operating officer, said the Grand Canyon State is a natural stepping stone for the company.
"Arizona is an amazing opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the US after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania,” Stebbings said in the release. “We look forward to working with our fantastic partner, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, to leverage our 50 years of bookmaking experience to bring the best betting options to Arizona sports fans."
When the market goes live in early September, AZ bettors are expected to have high interest, according to a recent survey of Arizona residents commissioned by BetArizona.com.
OTHER AZ PARTNERSHIPS
Aside from professional sports team partnerships, multiple sportsbook deals have been announced in Arizona, between various operators and tribes in the state.
Here's a list of the communities that have inked sportsbook deals to date:
- PointsBet Sportsbook and Cliff Castle Casino Hotel/Yavapai-Apache Nation;
- WynnBet Sportsbook and Apache Gold and Sky casinos/San Carlos Apache;
- William Hill/Caesars and Harrah's AK-Chin Casino;
- TwinSpires and Mazatal Hotel & Casino/Tonto Apache Tribe;
- BlueBet and the Colorado River Indian Tribes;
- BetMGM/Gila River Community and Arizona Cardinals.
There are 24 Class III Native American-owned casinos in Arizona, split among 16 tribes, leaving several openings on the market.
Six tribes in Arizona do not have casinos but lease out their slot machine rights to other tribes with facilities of their own.