Yavapai Prescott Tribe Arizona Sports Betting Lawsuit Headed Toward Settlement

Yavapai Prescott Tribe Arizona Sports Betting Lawsuit Headed Toward Settlement
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

A key Arizona sports betting lawsuit will soon be coming to an end.

In an addendum filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on Feb. 22, lawyers representing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Department of Gaming Director Ted Vogt, and the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe say the sides have reached an agreement in principle on a settlement. But they need more time to obtain final approval.

In early November, the two sides received a 60-day stay as they tried to hammer out a settlement.

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Details of Latest Case Update

Last week’s motion extends timelines in the case as the parties finalize a settlement.

“Since the case was reinstated, the parties have continued to engage in settlement discussions and now have an agreement in principle to resolve the litigation and matters incidental to the litigation, including amendment of the existing Tribal-State Gaming Compacts — which implicates all 22 Tribes in the state,” the motion reads.

“As a result, the logistics and procedures that need to be undertaken by all of the involved sovereign governmental entities in obtaining final approval will take additional time.”

The Arizona sports betting marketplace officially reached maturity in February, as the last of the 18 licensed mobile sports operators — Bally Bet, Hard Rock Sportsbook and Betway — launched in limited fashion.

Whether the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe will be able to offer mobile betting through the settlement is unknown.

How We Got to This Point

This litigation surrounding Arizona betting apps was brought by the YPIT in late August 2021. The suit argued Arizona House Bill 2772, which legalized sports betting in the state, was a violation of the state’s Voter Protection Act and Proposition 202, which legalized gaming on Indian land.

The initial complaint, filed in late August, was dismissed on Labor Day by Superior Court Judge James Smith, who said in his ruling the YPIT did not show why the legal action was necessary.

The Tribe filed an amended complaint in late September. The Governor’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss in mid-October, arguing the Tribe waited too long to file its complaint, and its actions could have dire consequences for the 10 Arizona tribes and eight sports teams that had received sports betting licenses.

The two sides have been working on a settlement since November. In January, the sides agreed to an updated timeline for the case as they closed in on a settlement.

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Christopher Boan

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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