Navajo Nation Partners With Hard Rock to Join Arizona Betting Apps Market

Navajo Nation Partners With Hard Rock to Join Arizona Betting Apps Market
By Christopher Boan

Hard Rock Digital is the latest online sportsbook to join the Arizona betting apps market after it announced a deal with the Navajo Nation on Thursday.

The partnership between the operator, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Navajos — the largest tribe in the continental United States — closes out the final unknown in Arizona’s fledgling sports betting market.

The Navajo Nation was the last of the 18 licensed Arizona tribes and professional sports teams to announce a sports betting partner, setting the stage for the market to hit parity in 2022.

Hard Rock Digital launched in 2020 and currently operates mobile sportsbook operations in New Jersey and Iowa.

No timeframe for the website’s launch was given by Hard Rock Digital in their press release Thursday, though all Arizona operators that were licensed in August have 180 days to launch their products.


What Hard Rock Brings to Arizona

Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Interim Chief Executive Officer Brian Parrish said in a Hard Rock press release the deal allows the nation to provide a top-notch Arizona sports betting experience for mobile and brick-and-mortar customers.

“Mobile sports and event wagering is an important new offering that we’re excited to introduce,” Parrish said in the press release. “The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile sports wagering platform and our brick-and-mortar operations will offer a broad range of wagers, marketing promotions and cross-marketing offers that will be unique to the Navajo and Hard Rock brands.”

Hard Rock Digital Managing Director & CEO, Marlon Goldstein expressed excitement about entering a market like Arizona, which became the fastest state to eclipse $1 billion in handle by doing so less than three months after it opened.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the NNGE to provide Arizona sports bettors with a fun and engaging gameday experience through the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app,” Goldstein said in the press release. “The Hard Rock brand is known worldwide for legendary hospitality and entertainment, and we’re excited to deliver those experiences to Arizonans digitally with unrivaled mobile sports betting.”


Who’s Licensed to Operate in Arizona?

A total of 18 operators were licensed by the Arizona Department of Gaming in August, split between 10 tribes and eight professional sports teams.

Tribes that are part of the 2021 compact can conduct retail sportsbook operations on tribal grounds without a license. This week, the ADG awarded Phoenix’s Turf Paradise Racing a limited sports betting license, which will allow the track to open a retail sportsbook.

Mobile Sports Betting Licensees
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Fubo Gaming)*
  • Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM Arizona)*
  • Arizona Coyotes (SaharaBets)*
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars Sportsbook)*
  • Arizona Rattlers (BetRivers Arizona)*
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation (Betfred Arizona)
  • Fort Mohave Indian Tribe (SuperBook Sports)*
  • Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe (Unibet Arizona)*
  • Hualapai Tribe (Golden Nugget)
  • Navajo Nation (Hard Rock Sportsbook)
  • Phoenix Mercury (Bally’s Sports Arizona)
  • Phoenix Speedway (Penn National Interactive/Barstool Sports)*
  • Phoenix Suns (FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona)*
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe (WynnBET Arizona)*
  • San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (Digital Gaming)
  • Tohono O’odham Nation (Kambi Group)
  • Tonto Apache Tribe (TwinSpires Sportsbook Arizona)*
  • TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona)* 
Tribal Retail Sportsbooks
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Caesars Sportsbook)*
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation (Betfred Arizona)*
  • Fort Mohave Indian Tribe (BetMGM)*
  • Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe (Unibet)*
  • Gila River Indian Community (BetMGM Arizona)*
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Scientific Gaming)*
  • Tohono O’odham Nation (Kambi Group)*
  • Tonto Apache Tribe (TwinSpires Sportsbook Arizona)*
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation (IGT PlaySports)* 
Non-tribal Retail Sportsbooks
  • Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM Arizona)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars Sportsbook Arizona)*
  • Phoenix Suns (FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona)*
  • TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona)
Limited License Sportsbooks
  • Turf Paradise (TBA)

* — Have launched operations

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Contributors

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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