It appears a pair of bills relating to sports betting in Arizona have stalled out in the state’s legislature.
Neither Arizona HB2509 nor SB1674 have advanced in either chamber of the legislature. HB2509 would have formed the Arizona Gaming Commission to replace the Arizona Racing Commission, the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission and the Arizona Department of Gaming. SB1674 would have doubled the number of Arizona betting licenses for the state’s tribes.
In the case of HB2509, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. Leo Biasiucci, the bill hasn’t moved out of the House Committee of the Whole, where it last was read Feb. 24. The bill was introduced Jan. 24.
In the Senate, SB1674 hasn’t even made it that far, with no votes on the measure since it was introduced by Democratic Sen. Sally Gonzales of Tucson on Feb. 3.
Aaron Hernandez, who serves as the director of Arizona State University’s Sports Law and Business Program, told BetArizona.com in an email both HB2509 and SB1674 appear to be dead for the 2022 session, which is scheduled to end April 23.
“According to people I know closer to the situation, neither bill has much traction, and both appear to be going nowhere,” Hernandez said.
Biasiucci told BetArizona.com on Thursday evening he was hoping to bring his bill back next year.
"That bill is not moving forward this year," Biasiucci said in an email. "The various commissions were not in favor of consolidating, and the tribes were heavily against it as well. We will look to bring the bill back next year once we have stakeholder meetings with all parties involved."
Gonzales didn't respond to a request for comment on her bill to add additional tribal licenses.
What Each Sports Betting Bill Entailed
The goal of HB2509 was to simplify the governing bodies surrounding sports betting and other similar activities.
The new Gaming Commission would have launched July 1, with one governor-appointed member who is a certified public accountant licensed by Arizona or another state with at least five years of experience in general accounting, one governor-appointed member with at least five years of experience in law enforcement and a Director of the Gaming Commission with at least five years of public or business administration experience.
There would be three other members of the commission, one each to be appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In the case of SB1674, the goal of Gonzales was to create a more equitable sports betting marketplace, where tribes could have as much access to sports betting revenue as the professional teams.
In an interview with BetArizona.com in February, Gonzales said the main motivation behind SB1674 was to allow the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona to have access to sports betting.
HB2772, which legalized Arizona sportsbooks and apps during the 2021 session, granted 10 licenses to tribes and 10 to sports teams.
“The motivation (for SB-1674) is the way the licenses were issued last session, with (H.B. 1772),” Gonzales told BetArizona.com. “The legislation that went through last year was, to me, unfair. And so, this bill is an amendment that aims at reintroducing a fairer way of issuing these commercial licenses in the state of Arizona.”