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Arizona becomes latest US State to legalize sports betting

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey made the Grand Canyon State the latest US State to legalize regulated sports betting. It’s a big move for the state that wouldn’t have been possible without major support from, and concessions to, Arizona tribal gaming interests.

House Bill 2772 is a bit different from the wave of sports betting bills that have been papering US legislatures for the past couple of years. For starters, it leans heavily on in-person and retail betting outlets, though mobile betting is part of the deal, too.

Under the terms of the bill, regulated sports betting will be offered at tribal casinos and retail outlets owned by sporting teams and sports venues. This is, yet another, example of the glaring hypocrisy that marks professional sports’ embrace of regulated sports betting, but here we are.

It’s pretty clear that tribal gaming interests had a strong hand in the writing of HB 2772, but that’s not surprising given the nature of regulated gaming in Arizona. The bill also updates the state’s gaming compact with the tribes, which was set to expire in two years.

Governor Ducey celebrated the bill saying, “This is a once-in-a-generation milestone for tribal nations, their communities, and the entire state of Arizona — and I’m proud to sign a gaming compact amendment and associated legislation that will benefit people in every corner of our state.”

“I can’t overstate the impact the tribal-state gaming compact amendment and its associated legislation will have on our state. Today’s signing is a culmination of years of partnership and engagement among many diverse stakeholders — and we did it by bringing everyone to the table, pushing individual agendas aside, and putting Arizona first,” he added.

Details of exactly how Arizona sports betting will work are still being worked out but it is assumed that it will be online and ready for wagers by the end of summer 2021.