It’s been a month since Arizona sports betting apps launched and the market is already contending with industry veterans.
The market launched Sept. 9 in the 48th State, opening a lot of pent-up demand for legal wagering.
Here’s what stood out in Arizona during the month of September:
NFL Wagering in Arizona Hits High Marks
According to a survey by geolocating firm GeoComply, Arizona ranked fourth out of 18 states and the District of Columbia in NFL sports betting transactions in September with 36.9 million.
Arizona ranked behind only New Jersey (70.5 million), Pennsylvania (64.6 million) and Michigan (44.3 million), showing the strong demand for football wagers in the market.
The state also ranked fourth in total transaction volume on NFL wagers, at 11.2% — again behind New Jersey (21.4%), Pennsylvania (19.6%) and Michigan (13.4%).
“We’re excited to see the growth of sports betting from the first NFL weekend has carried over to the first four weeks of the season,” Lindsay Slader, Managing Director of Gaming at GeoComply, said in the release. “The data also confirms the first week in Arizona was not just a one-off, but that the state has solidified its place as the fourth largest sports betting market in the U.S. With more states poised to come online in the coming weeks and months, we expect growth will continue to accelerate through 2021 and 2022.”
A major boon for NFL betting in Arizona has been the strong start by the Cardinals, who look to open a season 5-0 for the first time since 1974 on Sunday.
The Cardinals currently have the seventh-best championship odds at BetMGM Arizona (+1400), while WynnBET Arizona (+1400), TwinSpires Arizona (+1500), Caesars Sportsbook Arizona (+1600), DraftKings Arizona (+1600) and FanDuel Arizona (+1600) have Arizona 8th.
Major Sports Betting Operators Thrilled with Arizona’s Launch
Operators have had nothing but good things to say about the response from Arizona sports betting customers so far.
Jason Scott, who is BetMGM’s vice president of trading, said the company is thrilled with the way Arizonans have responded to its offers so far.
“Arizona has been a huge success for BetMGM. We are seeing numbers comparable with our opening in Michigan in January, which is remarkable as Michigan had the advantage of iGaming as well as sports betting,” Scott said in an email sent to BetArizona.com.
Who Launched in Arizona?
Operators that have launched so far in Arizona are BetMGM Arizona, Caesars Sportsbook Arizona, DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona, FanDuel Sportsbook, Penn National Interactive/Barstool Sports, TwinSpires Sportsbook Arizona, Unibet Arizona and WynnBET Arizona.
Operators that have received licensure but have not launched are Rush Street Interactive/BetRivers, Bally’s, Golden Nugget, Fubo Sports, Digital Gaming, Bet365 and Betfred.
The 2021 Gaming Compact allowed 20 licenses to be made available, split evenly among Arizona professional sports teams and tribes.
The Arizona Department of Gaming has not decided when it will allocate the final two licenses, or if the department will allocate those licenses in the immediate future, a representative told BetArizona.com.
Who’s Next to Launch?
All signs point to Fubo Sportsbook being the next operator to launch in Arizona, with a company representative telling BetArizona.com they plan on launching during the fourth quarter of 2021.
A representative from the company did not disclose a specific start date but said Fubo Sportsbook looks forward to launching in Arizona.
The plan for Bally’s Sportsbook, which is partnered with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, is to launch in early 2022, a company spokesperson said.
Representatives for PointsBet and Golden Nugget declined to provide a date for when they will enter the Arizona market.
Representatives from Digital Gaming, Bet365, Rush Street Interactive/BetRivers, Betfred and MaximBet did not respond to a request for comment from BetArizona.com
Status of Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s Lawsuit Unclear
One thing hanging over Arizona during its initial month of mobile sports betting is a legal challenge filed by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe of northern Arizona.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith rejected the tribe's initial lawsuit on Labor Day. Smith ruled that the suit lacked merit.
In the suit, the tribe argues that the bill legalizing sports betting inside and outside of tribal lands, state House Bill 2772, was unconstitutional.
The complaint alleges the 2021 gaming compact was in violation of Proposition 202, which allowed gaming activity on the state's tribal land.
The amended complaint, filed Sept. 27, has not been heard in court. As of now there is no court dates for the complaint, according to a public information officer for the court.