Arizona Department Of Gaming Works To Meet Fall Target Date For Sports Gambling Rules

By Jack Johnson
Published: Monday, May 31, 2021 - 5:15am

Sports gambling and daily fantasy are now legal in Arizona. But neither will be operational until the Arizona Department of Gaming can create the rules and regulations. 

In April, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2772, which will expand legal gambling throughout Arizona and allow sports betting to take place within state lines for the first time. And if everything goes according to plan, the new rules will be in place by the fall.

Professional football is the most dominant sector of the U.S. sports betting market, and the start of the next NFL season is less than four months away. State leaders would like to have sports books operating by then, which has placed some pressure on the Arizona Department of Gaming. The department is tasked with creating the rules and regulations of sports betting and daily fantasy, and is doing most of the work from scratch. 

“We do need to set up a whole new regulatory structure and develop these rules. So, we are on a pretty tight timetable,” said Max Hartgraves, public information officer for the department. “Luckily, we do have that emergency clause, so we’re able to kind of expedite that rule-making process. But, just putting that whole regulatory structure in place, because this form of gaming has never been legal in the state.”

A total of 20 gaming licenses have been issued: 10 will be for tribal casinos, and the other half for 10 Arizona professional sports teams. Positioning has moved swiftly, as daily fantasy services like FanDuel and DraftKings have scrambled to align themselves with sports franchises.

FanDuel advertisements are located under the scoreboard at Talking Stick Resort Arena during Phoenix Suns’ playoff games. DraftKings has announced a partnership with TPC Scottsdale to open a sportsbook on the site for next February’s Waste Management Open, one of the most popular events on the PGA Tour.

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