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Hard Rock secures AZ market access with Navajo Nation deal


The Hard Rock Digital arm of Hard Rock International has secured market access in Arizona through a new partnership with the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE).

Under the agreement, the operator’s Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app will launch in the state’s regulated sports betting market.

The NNGE, a division of the Navajo Nation, the largest federally recognized Native American Nation in the US, operates five gaming and hospitality facilities across Arizona and New Mexico.

Hard Rock also offers online sports betting in the states of New Jersey and Iowa.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the NNGE to provide Arizona sports bettors with a fun and engaging gameday experience through the Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app,” Hard Rock Digital executive managing director and chief executive Marlon Goldstein said.

“The Hard Rock brand is known worldwide for legendary hospitality and entertainment, and we’re excited to deliver those experiences to Arizonans digitally with unrivaled mobile sports betting.”

NNGE interim chief executive Brian Parrish added: “Mobile sports and event wagering is an important new offering that we’re excited to introduce.  The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile sports wagering platform and our brick-and-mortar operations will offer a broad range of wagers, marketing promotions and cross-marketing offers that will be unique to the Navajo and Hard Rock brands.”

The deal comes after it was revealed this week that operators in Arizona reported adjusted sports betting revenue after free bets of $31.8m for November, up more than 200% month-on-month, despite lower spending.

Across both retail and mobile, $466.7m was wagered throughout the month, a monthly loss of 4.0%. Mobile sports betting wagers reached $459.2m, while retail sports betting came to $7.4m.

Also this month, International Game Technology (IGT) announced that it had expanded its presence in the fledgling Arizona sports betting market by powering the new SaharaBets betting service.

IGT partnered with Meruelo Gaming, SaharaBets’ owner, to supply its trading advisory services and PlaySports technology to the statewide mobile sports betting app.