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What to know about Arizona’s new sports betting measure

Bet at In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal law that banned wagering on college and professional games nationwide and left the legalization to individual state legislatures. This left regulations in Arizona hazy.Alyssa Williams/azcentral

Arizona lawmakers on Monday approved legislation that will allow sports betting in Arizona as well as fantasy betting and a keno game and draw game from the state lottery. Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to sign the bill into law in the next few days.

Here’s what you need to know about Arizona’s newest gambling options:

When does sports betting start in Arizona?

Likely by the end of the year.

The state can begin taking applications and issuing licenses when the U.S. secretary of the Interior approves new gaming compacts that are separate from the legislation. Even though state lawmakers passed it with an emergency clause, which usually makes laws take effect immediately, it does not become effective until the notice of the secretary’s approval of the compacts is listed in the Federal Register.

Where will sportsbooks locate?

The law allows 10 professional sports organizations with stadiums that seat at least 10,000, including any site that hosts a PGA golf event or site that hosts a race for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, to apply for a license.

These specifications will allow sportsbooks at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale and TPC Scottsdale, which hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Sportsbooks can locate within a five-block radius of the venues.

Another 10 licenses are available for tribal casinos. Sixteen tribes run 25 casinos in Arizona. It’s unclear which ones will get the licenses.

Will I have to go in person to bet?

No. All of the license holders can offer mobile betting. And the law includes an important measure that says gamblers can register for those mobile betting websites remotely, avoiding the need to ever visit a sportsbook in person.

Who will run the betting operations?

It’s likely that license holders will pay national brands like FanDuel Group and DraftKings to run the betting operations. Other sportsbook operators likely to run the operations for licensed operators in Arizona include MGM Resorts International’s BetMGM, U.K.-based William Hill, Australia-based PointsBet, Penn Interactive/Barstool Sports, FOX Bet Sportsbook, which is affiliated with the sports network, and others.

PlayUSA Network, a national news site that directs gamblers to legal sports betting operations, provides updates on sports betting operations across the country. When sportsbooks become operational in Arizona, the network has plans to detail their operations here. 

Is betting on college sports allowed?

Yes, but no proposition bets. That means gamblers can only bet on the winner and point spread of college sports.

How old do you need to be to bet?

Gamblers need to be at least 21 years old, the same age required to wager at a casino.

Can sportsbooks offer credit to gamblers?


Can sportsbooks offer free bets to gamblers?


Where can you bet on fantasy sports?

Fantasy sports contests will happen statewide on online platforms administrated by licensed operators.

Kiosks for placing fantasy bets are only allowed at fraternal and veterans’ organizations and horse tracks.

The bill also legalizes fantasy sports hosted by individuals if they are not open to the general public, are limited to 15 participants, collect no more than $10,000 in entry fees a year and at least 95% of the entry fees are awarded to participants.

What about keno and the other new lottery game?

The bill will allow the state lottery to offer an electronic keno game and an electronic draw game. 

Keno can be played on mobile devices and at kiosks in fraternal and veterans’ organizations, racetracks and off-track betting locations. The draw game can be played on mobile devices statewide.

The keno game can be played every four minutes and the draw game every hour.

Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.

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