Arizona sports betting is beginning to flourish, with generally wide and open existing gambling laws that allow for casino games, slots and poker.
Although, Arizona lawmakers have yet to formally legalize sports betting within the State, sport bettors are permitted to place bets legally at online sport books that are based offshore.
It is a false understanding that it is illegal for a bet to be placed – i.e. is NOT true. It is however, illegal for a bank to facilitate the transactions sports betting to an offshore sports book, and for sports book to operate on shore. More details can be found further down the page.
Arizona sports betting laws that specifically permit onshore sport bookmakers, have hit a stand still. After a promising start in 2018, the events of 2020 have stalled any further progress of sports betting regulations.
Realistically, sports betting will remain with offshore providers until laws are passed in both House and Senate, which is largely influenced by the resolution of the corona virus.
Arizona Online Betting
Arizona has yet to pass laws allowing for in-person betting by residents and visitors. As a result, your only option if to travel to a state that does have in-person or mobile betting. If this isn’t appealing, then you can bet online through an offshore sports book.
Many offshore sport books are established in the Caribbean and Central America, specifically to cater for the US. The offshore sport books are legitimate and are able to operated under the loose interpretation of the Wire Act, thus permitting them to be just outside the applicable U.S laws.
Unlike in-person betting, through online you will need to open an account, deposit money, and maintain a balance with the sports book provider.
The online betting account therefore is a prepaid bank account that is specific for placing your bets. When you place a bet, your balance will be drawn down, and if you win, your balance will be credited and go up. Conversely, if you lose your balance will go down.
If your balance is exhausted and is zero, you will need to make another deposit (top up) if you want to continue to place further bets.
You can withdrawal your sports book balance anytime you like, however, some sport books place minimum withdrawal amounts and can only transfer using direct wire or bitcoin.
Online Betting Advantages
There are several advantages to betting online. These include:
Avoid the line: Instead of lining up to place a bet at a physical sports book, you can simply turn on your PC, laptop or mobile device and a few clicks you have placed your bet. This is great for those who see a great bet that they want to place a bet on, with time being of the essence.
Intra game bets: Extremely popular at the moment, is betting within a game. That is, while a game is being played, sports bettors have the opportunity to bet on the next play, whether it be in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB etc. A physical sports book, would not be able to offer these (or are limited), due to the speed and the numerous option available.
Thousand of sports betting odds: The beauty of online is that it is scalable. Not limited to the space on a physical board, through online the number of betting options are limitless. Can you imagine a physical betting odds board show thousands and thousands of lines? It would be logistically impossible to maintain.
Sharper odds: The key to sustainable sports betting enjoyment is finding the best odds. And there is no easier and faster way, than having multiple sports betting accounts. Via online, you can quickly compare the odds that are being offered, then click on the sports book that is offering the best odds. Again, to do this at physical sports books would be impossible – unless you have your friends positioned at every retail outlet, on standby – ready to place a bet.
Arizona Sports Betting Laws
The development of Arizona sports betting laws are interrelated to gambling laws in general. Not unlike many other US State, land based casinos are eyeing the opportunity to also offer sports betting as part of their gaming experience. Land based casinos in Arizona are operated by native American tribes whom put forward that all forms of gambling (by law) can only be offered by them. Potential commercial operators, however, and pushing for sports gambling reform to allow them to participate, whilst the government also needs to consider whether their own gambling commissions should be offering sports betting.
Development of Arizona Gambling
Arizona has the most tribal reservation land of any US State. It has a total of 22 Indian tribes and with the exception of Tribal gaming, laws on gambling in Arizona are restrictive. 6 tribes operate 23 Class III casinos on reservation territories. Another five tribes have transfer licenses to lease slot machines to tribes with casinos (through transfer agreements). Two referendums over the continuation of the Arizona State Lottery have been held (the latest in 2010), both of which returned a vote in favour of the lottery.
November 2015 – Scientific Games Corporation announced they were awarded a five-year contract with the Arizona State Lottery. Scientific Games will replace the lotteries existing integrated gaming system as well as take over central and facilities management, retail and advertising.
February 2016 – Senator Adam Driggs introduced a bill to classify daily fantasy sports as a game of skill and therefore exempt them from the state’s prohibition on games of chance. The current wording of SB-1515 could
conflict with the state/tribe gaming compact which grants a monopoly on gaming to the state’s native tribes. If the language is not revised it would be possible for the tribes to invoke a clause of the compact which would declare it void and remove the restrictions it imposes.
September 2016 – Scientific Games launched its new integrated gaming system with the Arizona State Lottery.
November 2016 – State Governor Doug Ducey announced the gaming compacts between the State and 10 Native American tribes would be renegotiated. The first phase of the process saw the Governor and the
leaders of the tribes sign an agreement which permitted the tribes to expand the games offered within their existing properties, whilst prohibiting the development of any new facilities in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
March 2018 – Scientific Games Corporation was awarded a five (5) year contract by Arizona State Lottery to provide administrative systems technology.
January 2019 – On 23 January 2019, a bill was introduced to authorize sports betting on tribal reservations only. SB1158 stated that each federally recognized Indian tribe that has a tribal-state gaming compact and
that has tribal headquarters on Indian lands located in the state may operate sports betting as defined in Section 13-3301. Under the provisions of the Bill, no other person or entity may operate sports betting.
February 2020 – Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representative Steve Pierce have drafted a new senate bill to legalize sports betting in the state. SB-1525 is similar to senate bill SB-1158 that failed to progress last year, and would authorize Indian tribes to operate sports betting on premises that hold an alcohol or private club license.