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As Arizona Sports Betting Nears Its Launch, PointsBet Loses Their License

Mitchell South

by Mitchell South in Sports Betting News

Updated Sep 7, 2021 · 6:34 AM PDT

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Phoenix Suns Guard Devin Booker (1) argues a call during a NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers on February 13, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • PointsBet Arizona fails to secure sports betting market access despite partnership with Cliff Castle Casino
  • Cliff Castle Casino was initially awarded an event wagering operator license before being told it was an administrative error
  • Arizona Department of Gaming has awarded 18 licenses ahead of September 9 launch

PointsBet has failed to secure online Arizona sports betting market access after the AZ Department of Gaming announced 18 other licenses for sportsbooks in the Grand Canyon State.

Despite a partnership between PointsBet and the Cliff Castle Casino (operated by the Yavapai-Apache Nation), the Australia-based betting site was dealt a blow in their US expansion plans. While PointsBet remains hopeful they’ll enter Arizona, they could be late to the game after the other betting sites launch on September 9.

Few Details on Why Cliff Castle Casino Did Not Receive a License

Details on why the PointsBet sportsbook was rejected are few and far between, and industry experts were left scratching their heads over this surprising development.

In a particularly cruel twist of fate, the Cliff Castle Casino was initially awarded a license on August 23. They were told just two days later this was an administrative error, which ultimately led to PointsBet’s omission from the list of official operators.

Cliff Castle Casino General Manager Aaron Moss expressed his frustration, stating “The fact that we were issued a license and then told that we did not get a license with no explanation has raised more questions than answers about the license allocation process.”

James Perry, Director of Marketing for Cliff Castle Casino, had this to say “At this point we are keeping all options open and on the table. Ultimately we would like to receive the Event Wagering license that was originally allocate to us by ADOG (Arizona Department of Gaming).”

Confusion for PointsBet as 18 Other Operators Secure Market Access

Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Gaming released a list of 18 operators who had their applications approved:

  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings
  • BetMGM
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • Caesars
  • Betfred
  • Unibet
  • BetRivers
  • Betway
  • TwinSpires
  • WynnBET
  • Golden Nugget
  • SuperBook
  • Fubo Gaming
  • Desert Diamond Mobile
  • Bally Bet
  • Arizona Coyotes (sportsbook partner not yet named)
  • Navajo Nation (sportsbook partner not yet named)

With a total of 20 licenses up for grabs in the state of Arizona, there’s a chance PointsBet could secure one of the last two spots. That might require a new partnership with someone other than the Cliff Castle Casino, but again, it’s difficult to tell with so few details surrounding the initial rejection.

Many of these sites will go-live when AZ sports betting launches on September 9, and while PointsBet could potentially enter the market at a later date, they might be at a big disadvantage in this ultra-competitive sportsbook market.

Arizona Sports Betting Launch Set for September 9

The September 9 launch date for Arizona event wagering is fast approaching, and with 20 potential operators, it’s sure to be a feeding frenzy for sports bettors. Every sportsbook entering the market is hoping to not only attract new bettors to their platform, but also keep them coming back for more.

The Arizona Cardinals are set to kickoff their season on September 12 against the Tennessee Titans, and you can expect some big welcome offers for signing up with any of these betting sites. PointsBet was striving to be ready for this huge weekend of wagering in Arizona, but that evidently won’t be the case.

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