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Arizona tribe continues bid to block sports betting with amended lawsuit


Arizona’s Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe has resubmitted its complaint calling for courts to suspend sports betting, which was legalised earlier this month, within the state. 

The tribe had failed in a bid for declaratory and injunctive relief to block the launch of of sports betting in Arizona after the Maricopa County Superior Court denied their lawsuit.

With the lawsuit, the tribe hoped to void an amended gaming compact negotiated by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and 20 federally recognized Indian tribes, which had been approved by the US Department of Interior in May.

The compact, which allows the tribes to expand their casinos and offer new table games, was fought for by both the Tonto Apache and Quechan tribes who sought to block the lawsuit.

Yavapai Prescott filed their complaints and lawsuits on the grounds that the legislation is unconstitutional, and that the tribe will be adversely affected by the expansion and new betting opportunities created by the bill and amended compact.

However Judge James Smith ruled that the tribe were unable to sufficiently prove that to be the case, claiming that they were only speculating that they would be at a disadvantage with regards to declining revenue.

Sports betting has subsequently launched in the state with the implementation of House Bill 2772. 10 tribes and 10 sports franchises have been granted sports betting licenses.

Following the launch, the tribe refiled its lawsuit, though the amended complaint is not yet public.

FanDuel, Kindred and Caesars Entertainment have all launched Arizona-based sportsbooks, while DraftKings and BetMGM announced their foray into the market on the day it opened.