The state of Arizona is looking at a sports betting launch on September 9. Hmm. That seems like a significant day.
Oh, yeah, it’s the day that the 2021 NFL season starts. Timing is everything, right?
Arizona officially made sports betting legal in April 2021. The state legislature was looking for ways to raise money after the COVID-19 pandemic, as so many states are, and sports betting became a logical solution. Like most states, Arizona had talked about legalizing wagering many times over and several bills had been attempted, but the Grand Canyon State had not found one that worked.
Well, now they have and will join the ranks of those to offer legal sports betting across the state. Mobile sports betting will be available, though there are a lot of interests and a lot of hands in the cookie jar. There are 24 casinos in Arizona and 16 of them are tribal-run.
The framework for sports betting in Arizona is actually going to be friendly for both bettors and operators. Bettors will be able to wager at a FanDuel Sportsbook in Phoenix Suns Arena. They’ll also have the option of a DraftKings Sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, where public drunkenness reigns supreme during the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A Caesars Sportsbook is also coming to Chase Field.
Those won’t be the only three operators in the state. With Arizona’s proximity to both Colorado and Nevada, as well as 20 licenses up for grabs, we’re going to see a lot of companies set up shop in the desert. Many in the state are already familiar with the different gambling outlets, so marketing and promotion efforts won’t be overly extensive. They won’t have to be.
Retail sports betting will be offered at the casinos, but the vast majority of money will be wagered online or through the mobile apps. Federal approval was required in Arizona because of a new tribal compact and the presence of Indian gaming interests, but that came down quickly, so just about all of the hurdles have been jumped, paving the way for that September 9 start date.
Until all of the infrastructure is set up and the Arizona Department of Gaming approves licensing, you’ll still have to go outside the state to bet on sports. That means going to Nevada or Colorado. However, the hope is that Arizona will be up and running by the start of the 2021 NFL season.
Once Arizona is up and running, users will be able to bet from anywhere because this is a Remote Registration state with full online and mobile capability. Sign up from your phone or from your computer and start betting right away.
Arizona will be similar to Colorado in that regard. Colorado is a Remote Registration state as well. As long as you are physically located within the state borders, you can access your account and bet on sports.
For the time being, Colorado is a good bet until Arizona gets up and running. That way, you can also familiarize yourself with the sign-up process and also with betting from your mobile device or on your computer.
Nevada is not a Remote Registration state. You have to sign up in-person at the sportsbook. Once you are signed up, however, mobile apps will work from anywhere in the state. Certainly a lot of people have taken the drive or the short flight from Phoenix to Las Vegas and are familiar with how the sportsbooks work there.
Once you are registered and signed in, you can bet the second you cross state lines into Nevada.
With such a wide-open state and the opportunity for as many as 20 operators, split between the Native American tribes and the sports entities in the state, Arizonans will have no shortage of sportsbooks at their disposal.
We could even see some of the smaller Colorado sportsbooks leak down across the border, like USBookmaking via Sky Ute Casino or SportsBetting.com, which are both currently operating exclusively in Colorado.
Here are some sportsbooks that will be in Arizona:
FanDuel Sportsbook will have a presence at the Phoenix Suns Arena, which means that their license will allow them to take bets from anywhere right away. Spectators at the arena for various events will be able to bet at the retail counter, kiosks, or with the FanDuel app on their phones. It remains to be seen if FanDuel will secure another license for a retail book elsewhere, but seeing as how the majority of their handle comes via the website and the mobile app, it would be overkill to go that route.
FanDuel traditionally offers a boosted sign-up bonus in new states, so be on the look out for that as Arizona gets ready to launch legal betting later this summer.
The chief competitor for FanDuel is another DFS operator turned sportsbook and that is DraftKings. DraftKings Sportsbook also has its license via a sports venue with a sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, the home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. DraftKings is obviously a brand synonymous with betting in the U.S. and should have a large presence in Arizona right away.
DraftKings Sportsbook offers up to a $1,000 Deposit Bonus split between a 20% Deposit Match Bonus and a Risk-Free Bet.
The other operator we knew for sure at the time of the announcement that Arizona had a target date of September 9 was Caesars, which will be located inside Chase Field. Caesars is a globally-recognized name in the gaming world, not only for sports betting, but also for resort and casino properties around the world. We’ll likely see a retail sportsbook at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin about 40 minutes south of Phoenix as well.
We have to assume that University of Phoenix Stadium will get a sportsbook in all of this as well. It could very well be a BetMGM Sportsbook. If not, BetMGM should still find a way into the state through one of the other casinos. There are no MGM properties in Arizona, but they’ve partnered with other brands in other states to get set up and get started.
BetMGM offers a Risk-Free Bet up to $600 in most states, but we could see something different when Arizona launches.
The other option for University of Phoenix Stadium could be PointsBet. PointsBet Sportsbook is headquartered in downtown Denver, CO and has a strong presence in the Rocky Mountain State. It stands to reason that a strong presence is coming in the Grand Canyon State as well. PointsBet offers up a lot of promotions and a lot of promotions for the local sports teams, so that should go over well in Arizona.
PointsBet offers a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250.
Most operators don’t have a heavy presence west of the Mississippi, as Nevada is pretty strict and Colorado is the only state with a wide-open market. We mostly think of BetRivers as being in the Rust Belt states, spanning from New Jersey through Pennsylvania and on into Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and then Iowa. But, BetRivers keeps expanding and a state like Arizona should be on the radar. Rush Street Interactive and Kambi provide excellent technological support for a great app.
BetRivers offers a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250.
We’ll definitely see William Hill work its way into Arizona as well. William Hill is in virtually every state with legal sports betting, except for those that run through the lottery or operate under a monopoly via the lottery. Otherwise, William Hill’s presence is felt everywhere in the United States and also around the globe as an industry leader in the sports betting world.
William Hill offers a Risk-Free Bet up to $500 in most states.
Sports betting in Arizona should be a thing well before the end of 2021. With what Colorado has done as the framework for what is happening in Arizona, it shouldn’t take long to follow the lead of other states that have had success implementing legal wagering. The goal is to be up and running by the 2021 NFL season.
Arizona will have a very competitive market with reasonable tax rates and fees for the operators, so this should be a really good betting environment for everybody in the state willing to place bets. This is will a largely unrestricted state with mobile and online betting capabilities for everybody located within the state borders and Remote Registration means that you can sign up from anywhere.
This should be a wildly successful state for betting.