It appears that the road toward the launch of Arizona sports betting is on schedule for Sept. 9, according to the Arizona Department of Gaming.
Department Event Wagering & Fantasy Sports Contest Administrator Harold “Hal” Wafer said as much during his third and final call with Arizona sportsbook operators on Wednesday morning.
Early registration for Arizona sports betting began Aug. 28, the day after the state gave approval for 18 sports betting licenses. Sportsbook operators have been enticing new bettors with Arizona promo codes during early registration.
Wafer told the virtual crowd that the department expects to finish its checklist inspections of all facilities in the coming weeks, granting final approval for operators soon thereafter.
“This will be a several-week process, continuing beyond (Sept. 9), as we go through the list to verify that everything’s good to go,” Wafer said. “And then at that point in time, you’ll end up with a final, final approval, so-to-speak.
“So that’s why we need a couple of extra weeks beyond the starting point (of legal sports betting). And once again, all of this is to everyone’s benefit, because it makes your process more efficient, faster and easier for everyone.”
Sportsbook operators must ensure all suppliers have completed applications and sent payments, in order to launch on Sept. 9, Wafer said.
The Final Stretch
Wafer told the crowd of operators that both he and his team are excited to get the final regulatory items finished, so the rollout of sports betting can proceed without a hitch.
“I’m excited to kick off and I’m sure everyone here is as well,” Wafer said. “We go live for event wagering on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time. And I just can’t wait. And like I said, going through those key points and making sure that you go over the checklist and making sure everything’s done is key, because we’re ready to go and give you an approval letter.”
Don’t Forget Self-Exclusion
Wafer gave a brief update about the department’s self-exclusion list policies.
The ADG plans to ensure that operators have up-to-date lists by Sept. 9. People with gambling addiction issues place themselves on to be disqualified from earnings and entering gaming facilities.
What’s Next in Arizona?
There was no talk, by Wafer or anyone on the call Wednesday about the two lawsuits, filed separately in Maricopa County Superior Court by Turf Paradise Racing and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.
The tribe seeks to have the 2021 gaming compact declared unconstitutional because of language used to approve it as an emergency measure. The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe’s case will be heard at 2:30 p.m. local time Thursday.
The TP Racing hearing scheduled for Friday was canceled on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s call is the final one scheduled with operators before Sept. 9.