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Department of Gaming Announces Allocation of Arizona Sports Betting Licenses

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Aug 27, 2021 · 4:45 PM PDT

  • The Arizona Department of Gaming announced the 20 total Arizona sports betting license winners.
  • Sports betting can begin on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 12:01 a.m.
  • The licenses were announced despite a recently filed lawsuit against the state’s sports betting bill.

The Arizona sports betting landscape has become more clear as the Arizona Department of Gaming announced the winning applicants of its first 20 sports betting licenses.

Arizona sports betting is scheduled to launch on Thursday, Sept. 9, the first day of the NFL season.

However, a recently lawsuit filed against Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and Arizona Department of Gaming Chairman Ted Vogt by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe may put a halt to the proceedings.

The tribe has made a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the state to keep it from awarding sports betting licenses or taking sports bets before the case can be heard. The tribe’s lawsuit contends the Arizona sports betting bill is unconstitutional and violates the state’s Voter Protection Act.

Get the Latest Arizona Sports Betting News

The filed lawsuit will be heard on Friday, Sept. 3. If an injunction is awarded, it could seriously delay the launch of Arizona’s sports betting program.

Ten licenses were available for Arizona professional sports franchises and 10 licenses were available for tribal casinos in the state. An additional 10 licenses for “limited event wagering operators” will be available, but the holders need to partner with one of the approved 20 event wagering operators.

“During the rulemaking process for event wagering, the Department made it a priority to gather as much public and stakeholder comment as possible, particularly on aspects such as license allocation,” Vogt said in a release. “The allocation decision we are announcing today is a direct result of these efforts, helping to ensure the impartiality and fairness of the process for all applicants.”

Allocated Arizona Sports Licenses

The department received eight sports teams/organization applicants. Here are the winning Arizona professional sports franchises and their sportsbook operator partnerships:

  • Arizona Coyotes (no partnership announced)
  • Phoenix Mercury (Bally’s)
  • Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Gila River casino properties (BetMGM)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars)
  • TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings)
  • Phoenix Suns (FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • Phoenix Raceway (Penn National Gaming)
  • Arizona Rattlers (Rush Street Interactive)

The department received 16 qualified tribal applicants. The department awarded the 10 licenses based on a set of 19 criteria, including gaming experience and track record of the applicant. Here are the winning tribal casino applicants and their sportsbook operator partnerships:

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Fubo Gaming)
  • Tonto Apache Tribe (Churchill Downs)
  • San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (Digital Gaming)
  • Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation (BetFred)
  • Hualapai Tribe (Golden Nugget)
  • Navajo Nation (no partnership announced)
  • Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (SuperBook Sports)
  • Tohono O’odham Nation (no partnership announced)
  • Quechan Tribe (Unibet Arizona)
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe (WynnBet)

Marketing for the sportsbooks can begin tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 28, and customers can also register and fund accounts. Daily fantasy sports betting will also launch on Aug. 28. FanDuel and DraftKings both were approved as fantasy sports wagering operators as well.

Arizona Licensed Fantasy Sports Operators

Here are the currently licensed fantasy sports operators in the state:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • FFPC
  • Yahoo
  • Fantasy Sports Shark
  • Underdog Sports
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