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New Bill Aims to Expand Arizona Sports Betting for Native Tribes

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Feb 8, 2022 · 11:15 AM PST

arizona online sports betting
  • A newly introduced bill would expand sports betting licenses for federally recognized Arizona Native Tribes
  • The bill would expand licenses for tribes from 10 to 23
  • Tribes would be able to offer retail sports betting off of tribal lands in some instances

A newly introduced bill will expand the number of Arizona sports betting licenses for Native Tribes if it is approved in the state.

Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales (D-Tucson) introduced bill SB 1674 to the Senate. The bill, which has been assigned to the Senate rules committee, would expand the number of sports betting licenses for Arizona tribes from 10 to 23, one available for each of the recognized state tribes.

23 Total Sports Betting Licenses for Arizona Tribes

“The department may issue not more than 23 event wagering operator licenses to Indian tribes in this state, one to each federally recognized Indian tribe, if the Indian tribe receiving a license has signed the most recent tribal-state gaming compact and any applicable appendices or amendments,” the bill reads.

The original sports betting bill, passed in 2021, allowed for 10 sports betting licenses for the Indian tribes and 10 for the state’s professional sports organizations. Sports betting began in Arizona in September 2021 and has since taken in nearly $1.2 billion in bets, according to the Arizona Department of Gaming.

In November, the state took in more than $466 million in sports bets. This resulted in $3.1 million in privilege fees for Arizona.

These 10 tribes were awarded licenses are have the following sportsbook partnerships:

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Fubo Gaming)
  • Tonto Apache Tribe (Churchill Downs)
  • San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (Betway)
  • Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation (BetFred)
  • Hualapai Tribe (Golden Nugget)
  • Navajo Nation (Hard Rock Sportsbook)
  • Tohono O’odham Nation (Desert Diamond)
  • Quechan Tribe (Unibet Arizona)
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe (WynnBet)

The Colorado River Indian Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Yavapai-Apache Nation were among the original 16 tribes that applied for the initial 10 licenses. The bill’s approval would offer them newly renewed hope to get into the Arizona sports betting industry.

Sports Betting Off Tribal Land

As well as the additional licenses, Gonzales’s bill would allow Indian tribes to operate retail sports betting off tribal land. The bill will allow the tribes to operate retail sports betting within a five-block radius of an Arizona professional sports facility or complex.

“An Indian tribe, or an entity fully owned by an Indian Tribe, or its designee contracted to operate event wagering for both retail event wagering within a five-block radius of a sports facility or a sports complex and mobile event wagering throughout the state,” the bill reads.

The bill must be approved by both the Arizona House and Senate, and be signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, before it can become law.

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