Arizona Again Opening Sports Betting Market to New Operators

Posted on: June 8, 2024, 09:05h. 

Last updated on: June 8, 2024, 09:05h.

Arizona is again preparing to expand its sports wagering market as the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced Friday that it will look to add at least two more operators to the fold.

Arizona sports betting
Arizona Cardinals fans celebrate during a game. The state could add another two or three sports betting operators. (Image: Deseret News)

Under state law, up to 20 sportsbooks can operate in the state. That number currently stands at 17. ADG is looking to add one operator tied to a Tribal gaming group and another tied to a professional sports franchise. The application window is July 8 to July 19.

Applicants must submit their completed applications within this timeframe in order to be considered for a license. ADG will thoroughly evaluate all applications received based on the established criteria pursuant to the State’s event wagering rules and statutes,” according to a statement issued by the ADG.

Arizona dictates 10 of the state’s sports wagering permits can be affiliated with professional sports teams and 10 must be linked to Native American tribes. Currently, those figures stand at eight and nine, respectively, meaning there are three licenses currently not spoken for.

Some Fluidity in Arizona Sports Betting Market

Online sports betting debuted in Arizona in 2021 and since then, the state is one of just 11 to see operators exceed $1 billion in combined revenue and one of just nine to blow past $15 billion in handle.

However, due to some gaming companies significantly scaling back online sports betting operations or throwing in the towel on the industry altogether, there’s been some operator-level fluidity in Arizona, along with other states.

Last August, Bet365 became the 17th sportsbook operator in the state and other somewhat recent additions to the state’s roster include ESPN Bet, but that was by of rebranding from Barstool Sports, and Fanatics.

As is the case in essentially every other state that has a competitive internet sports wagering industry, DraftKings and FanDuel dominate in Arizona, controlling about 70% of the market. Other sportsbooks operating in the state include Bally Bet, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Rush Street Interactive (Bet Rivers) and SuperBook Sports, among others.

Assessing Potential Contenders for Arizona Licenses

For now, it’s not yet clear which gaming companies that lack Arizona exposure could look to change that, but it’s not up for debate that the market there is attractive. Alone, the 10% tax on sports wagering is attractive, but there are factors to consider.

Additionally, the state is the 14th-largest in the nation by population, and one of the fastest-growing. Its broad menu of online operators even entices some bettors from Nevada to cross state lines to access a large suite of different odds and bets. There’s also been talk of bettors from California, which prohibits sports wagering, making the trek to Arizona to place bets.

It’s just speculation, but Las Vegas-based Circa Sports would appear to be a credible contender for an Arizona license owing to the operator’s preference for doing business in lower tax jurisdictions and its enviable brand awareness in Arizona. However, the company hasn’t publicly declared it’s interested in an Arizona permit.