You can’t beat them. You might as well join them.
A lot of states seem to be adopting this mentality nowadays when it comes to legal sports betting. Every state is facing budget shortfalls from helping its citizens through COVID-19 and any influx of cash to the coffers is a benefit.
The timing of Arizona’s approval of legal sports betting is not coincidental, but it sure feels like a long time coming. Arizona has Nevada to the north, the longstanding hub of sports betting in the United States, at least up until PASPA was repealed on May 14, 2018, and Colorado to the northeast, a state with a thriving sports betting economy.
Even New Mexico, the neighbor to the east, offers retail sports betting. So, Arizona finally moved forward after long legislative delays and discussions to approve all forms of sports betting in the state.
That means retail at casinos and it also means online and mobile sports betting across the state. The expansion of gaming also included daily fantasy sports, which were verboten in Arizona prior to this most recent bill.
The bill even allows for betting on the college teams in the state of Arizona, which will be music to the ears of those attending the University of Arizona, Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Grand Canyon, and all of the other colleges and universities in the state.
The language of the bill is very friendly to both player and gambler. Up to 20 operators are allowed in the state. All of the professional teams and sports-related businesses can pair with an operator, including TPC Scottsdale, who will be making the Waste Management Phoenix Open even more attractive with a sportsbook on site.
Senate Bill 1797 and House Bill 2772 will go down in history for the state of Arizona. With up to 20 operators, it will be a very competitive market, which is always good for the bettors themselves. Competition also keeps the sportsbooks honest, which will help. The Arizona Department of Gaming has oversight.
The tax rate for the operators is just 8%, so that is a big win for them as well, as that rate is much lower than others and only slightly higher than some states. It is a good number overall, though an annual licensing fee will cost low six figures.
This is an awesome framework for Arizona and now sports betting operators gain access to the big Phoenix market, as well as all of the events and the college students in the state. We should see Arizona as a booming market once everything fully comes together.
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.
We are also guaranteed to see the big names and the biggest operators in the state of Arizona. In fact, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel were three of the biggest proponents, financiers, and lobbyists for legal sports betting in Arizona. They wouldn’t put their weight and dollars behind that push if they weren’t going to set up shop in the Grand Canyon State.
Here are some sportsbooks that will be in Arizona:
BetMGM Sportsbook is an industry leader that has a presence in just about every state with legal sports betting. BetMGM is in every state that does not employ a monopoly through the lottery. Arizona’s sports betting oversight will come from the Department of Gaming, so BetMGM will be a major player and one right from the jump.
BetMGM, who has resort and casino properties all over the world and calls itself The King of Sports Betting, should be popular with its close ties to Las Vegas and a lot of name recognition. This could be one of BetMGM’s best states because Arizona had previously forbidden DFS, which means that DraftKings and FanDuel don’t have the large customer bases that they had in other states.
BetMGM offers up to a $600 Deposit Bonus.
BetRivers may not be one of the first in Arizona, but they’ll likely be there. The operator has a strong presence across the Rust Belt, but also has a very strong presence in Colorado that should move to the southwest and to the desert. BetRivers is not in Las Vegas, so there may be a slow initial push to get people to sign up, but with a low tax rate and reasonable licensing fee, expect them to go to Arizona.
BetRivers offers a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250.
Let’s see how quickly DraftKings Sportsbook grows in Arizona. DK and its chief competition, FanDuel, were not running DFS in Arizona, so their player pool is starting from scratch in Arizona as opposed to what we saw in other states. Backed by a ton of money and a lot of good partnerships with the sports leagues and teams, however, it won’t take long for DraftKings to have a substantial presence in Arizona.
DraftKings offers up to a $1000 Deposit Bonus.
FanDuel Sportsbook also has the same growing pains as DraftKings in that DFS has not been an option for Arizonans. That being said, because DFS will begin before legal betting does in all likelihood, FanDuel could get a big head start over some of the betting operators. With a clean-cut color scheme and a large market share in every state it operates, this will be a very popular app.
FanDuel sometimes offers a Deposit Match Bonus in new states, but typically offers up to a $500 Risk-Free Bet.
PointsBet Sportsbook makes its US home in Denver, Colorado, so an expansion into the Arizona market is all but a certainty. PointsBet brings some different things to the table in terms of the high-risk, high-reward PointsBetting system and also a ton of daily and weekly promotions for new and existing users.
A lot of sportsbooks just want to get you in the door and then the promotions slow down. That’s not true of PointsBet and that should make them a very popular sportsbook, especially among the colleges in Arizona.
PointsBet offers a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250.
William Hill Sportsbook is undoubtedly going to be a player in Arizona. William Hill is in every state that they can be in across the country. They also offer some of the fairest odds as far as the legal US sportsbooks go, so we believe this is a good option for each and every bettor.
William Hill offers up to a $500 Deposit Bonus or Risk-Free Bet, depending on the state.
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.