Legal Sports Betting in Arizona Coming Soon
This past Monday, the Arizona Senate won a final legislative approval that would allow Arizonans to place legal bets on pro sports. Governor Duecy is expected to sign the bill into law, which would legalize sports betting, fantasy betting, and a new keno game that is operated and controlled by the Arizona State lottery.
Formally known as Senate Bill 1797 and House Bill 2722 moved past both chambers with the house bill passing at a 23-6 vote.
Agreements with State Tribes
Governor Duecy is also expected to sign amendments to the current gaming agreements with the state’s tribes, which would allow them to expand their casinos and offer new games. These new games include baccarat, craps and roulette. As of today, the only card games offered are blackjack and poker.
These amendments came after the governor obtained tribe support for off-reservation sports and fantasy betting in exchange for permission to expand, which could potentially expand into various new casinos in metro Phoenix.
The specifics of the amendments allow ten professional sports teams and 10 tribes the ability to obtain sports betting. According to the bill, the off-reservation sportsbooks can offer betting at sites within five blocks of their sports facilities. The sports-betting license holders could contract with online wagering companies, like the major outlets such as DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, BetMGM, and William Hill.
Republican lawmaker, Jeff Weninger, who co-sponsored the bill, says the state must first finalize a new gaming compact with the state’s tribes and that must be signed off by federal officials in Washington D.C. As Weninger stated:
“We think that will all be finalized in July, which basically means we think by the start of the NFL season, you’ll be able to start placing wagers…Casinos will be able to allow sports wagering, and there will be 10 licenses outside of the casinos. The sports franchises will have those, along with NASCAR and the Phoenix Open,” he explained, adding, “Fantasy sports kiosks, up to two allowed in limited places. That will be racetracks and fraternal clubs, that would be your VFW’s, American Legions … then there’s another component of the bill that allows keno. It’ll allow keno at racetracks, off-site betting places and at these fraternal clubs.”
The History of legalizing sports betting in Arizona
In 2019, Senator Sonny Borrelli and Steve Pierce first bought a bill that would have legalized sports betting in Arizona. However, there was much pushback from the initial tribes. In 2020, both Borrelli and Pierce reintroduced the bills, but it did not get to a committee vote.
Finally, in 2021, with Arizona looking for new revenue, Governor Duecy showed support for the bill. Additionally, the tribes and that State are now in an agreement to move forward with sports betting. In April of 2021, Arizona passed HB 2772, which formally allows the legalization of both mobile and retail sports betting.
How does this affect Arizona revenue?
According to the Joint Legislative budget Committee, which reviews new laws to estimate financial impact, the new gambling under the law will bring in about $34 million in annual revenue. These numbers are based on similar states with comparable tribes and numbers.
For fantasy sports, the Committee estimates that $1.2 million will be brought in annually to the state. For keno, the Committee estimates a revenue of $16 million could be brought to the general fund. Mobile draw cams could bring in about $2 million as well.
Privy to these potential changes, the Arizona Diamondbacks are planning to launch both a gaming phone application, and a sportsbook directly outside of Chase Field.
How does this impact me?
While sports betting has been legalized since this month, you must be at least 21 years old to legally place sports bets in the State. You can bet on a mobile and desktop device. However, residents are subject to a 5.0% tax withholding on lottery winnings. Non-residents must pay a 6.0% tax. Of course, lottery winning of $600 or less are not reported to the IRS. But, any wining over $5,000 is subject to a 25% federal withholding tax.
Changes in the law seem to be becoming more frequent these days. This new legalization of sports betting is yet another example of that change.
It is always important to keep abreast of the legal news and ever-changing laws in Arizona. Stay up to date with the Informed Arizonan for weekly blogs. Visit the Informed Arizonan for more.
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