Arizona has today (September 9) launched its legal sports wagering market, with DraftKings and BetMGM among the operators to go live in the state on opening day.
The US Department of Interior in May approved a bill that formalized an amended compact, setting out measures allowing players to bet on sports at tribal casinos and sites owned by major league sports teams in Arizona.
Soon after this, the Arizona Department of Gaming announced plans to open the market on September 9, but a legal challenge last week by the Yavapai Prescott Indian tribe cast doubts over the launch.
Yavapai Prescott asked the Maricopa County Superior Court to halt the implementation of the bill and void an amended gaming compact negotiated by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and 20 of the state’s 22 federally recognized Indian tribes.
However, the Maricopa County Superior Court this week rejected the request for an injunction, allowing the market to launch as planned today.
In anticipation of the market opening, the Arizona Department of Gaming issued a number of licenses to operators, including DraftKings and BetMGM, which have both announced their roll-out in the state.
The operator’s launch in the state was made by possible through its partnership with golf’s PGA Tour, with Arizona law that states operators can only offer betting via sites owned by major league sports teams and professional sports organisations.
As such, DraftKings expanded its partnership with the PGA Tour in order to launch in the state with the Scottsdale golf course in Arizona.
“With the launch of our digital sportsbook coinciding with NFL kickoff, the busiest and most exciting time of the year for our company, we could not have imagined a better time to introduce Arizona’s sports fans to the DraftKings experience,” DraftKings’ co-founder and president of North America, Matt Kalish, said.
PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media and gaming, Norb Gambuzza, added: “The PGA Tour is excited for the launch of mobile sports betting in Arizona as a major step forward as we look to advance audience development and fan engagement opportunities.”
BetMGM also went live in Arizona today in partnership with Gila River Hotels & Casinos and NFL team the Arizona Cardinals.
The operator’s mobile sportsbook is live in the state, while retail location will open at Gila River’s three Arizona locations owned by the Gila River Indian Community – Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva – later this year.
In addition, BetMGM plans to open a first-of-its-kind BetMGM sportsbook at State Farm Stadium, home of the Cardinals, in time for the 2022 football season.
“We’ve built strategic partnerships with Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals, two key players in the state, enabling us to create one-of-a-kind experiences for our Arizona customers,” BetMGM chief executive Adam Greenblatt said.
FanDuel and Penn National Gaming are among the other brands to have secured licenses in Arizona and are expected to launch in the state imminently.