FILE - Sports betting, gambling

The football odds betting board at a Las Vegas casino sportsbook.

(The Center Square) – State lawmakers have sent Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey his initiative to legalize wagering on sporting events.

The state Senate voted late Monday night on House Bill 2772, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, and Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge. 

The legislation will allow for state-licensed operators to offer in-person and online sports betting, in addition to creating a new Keno Game that would be managed by the state. 

“Sports betting is coming to Arizona in a few months,” Weninger said Monday night, specifically saying they hope to have sports betting live by early September, which coincides with the beginning of the NFL season. 

Online betting sites FanDuel and DraftKings thanked the state officials connected to the effort Tuesday.

“We look forward to potentially introducing Arizona sports fans to our top-rated DraftKings’ DFS and mobile sportsbook products,” said Griffin Finan, vice president of government affairs for DraftKings.

The two companies would each have to come to terms with one of the license holders in the state in order to legally offer their product.

Arizona is a latecomer in terms of allowing sports betting, largely due to tribal opposition to off-reservation gaming. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized sports betting after a landmark 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing it based on state approval and regulation. 

Ducey announced that he struck a deal with the state’s tribes in February to expand their footprint with 10 of the 20 licenses and the ability to run sportsbooks across the state. Tribal casinos would also be allowed to add new games, such as craps, to their existing venues.

State-tribal agreements are all contingent on federal approval. 

Ducey praised the bill’s passage shortly after. 

“A new tribal-state gaming compact just passed the legislature! The updated agreement is a win-win for Arizonans, tribal members, and sports leagues and teams,” he said.

Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.