Legal U.S. Sports Betting Turns 5: Arizona Among Top Wagering States

Legal U.S. Sports Betting Turns 5: Arizona Among Top Wagering States
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

As sports bettors celebrate the fifth anniversary of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a landmark decision that gave all states the right to legalize sports betting, a new study finds Arizona ranks among the top states for the activity.

A study by ranked the Grand Canyon State seventh among the 30 states where sports betting has been legal and available for more than a year.

Despite being one of the later adopters — Arizona sports betting launched in September 2021, more than three years after New Jersey — the state ranks highly among other states across several metrics.

From March 2022 to February, Arizona sportsbooks have taken nearly $6.2 billion in wagers. The per capita handle of $1,071 is the third-highest nationally, behind only New Jersey and Colorado.

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Arizona Sports Betting Upholding Best Practices

The study shows Arizona has implemented some of the best practices from early adopters to become one of the most competitive sports betting states in the U.S.

Bettors have an incredible amount of choice in Arizona. There are 17 Arizona sports betting apps, and only three states offer bettors more choices. And it’s also a friendly state for sportsbooks as the 10% state tax assessed on online revenues is tied for the fourth-lowest rate.

Arizona's strong sports betting market is also helped by the state having franchises in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. It’s also home to two major Power 5 college sports programs.

Beyond that, the Phoenix area also hosted the Super Bowl earlier this year and is scheduled to host the NCAA Final Four next year.

Arizona became the first legal sports betting state to host a Super Bowl. And the game pushed the state’s betting handle for February to beyond $600 million. State Farm Stadium, which hosted the Super Bowl, the Arizona Cardinals and the Fiesta Bowl, has a BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona retail location on its grounds.

Arizona Lags in Problem Gaming Funding

One area where Arizona could improve its ranking is by increasing funding for problem gambling services. In the 2021 fiscal year, Arizona spent about 41 cents per adult on problem gaming/responsible gaming services and education. That ranked 15th nationally. Oregon, which spent more than $2 per adult, led the nation.

While revenues from tribal gaming fund PG/RG services in Arizona, none of the sports betting revenue is allocated for those programs.

New Jersey finished first in the study, with Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, Illinois and Arizona right behind.



Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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