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IGT powers new SaharaBets app in Arizona


International Game Technology (IGT) has expanded its presence in the fledgling Arizona sports betting market by powering the new SaharaBets betting service.

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

SaharaBets launched in Arizona this week just days after being announced as a partner of the Arizona Coyotes NHL team. Meruelo Gaming, an affiliate of the Sahara Las Vegas resort and Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, is led by Alex Meruelo, who is also the owner of the Coyotes.

“The scalable PlaySports technology, turnkey services, capabilities and vast sports betting experience make IGT SaharaBets’ ideal sports betting growth partner in Arizona,” said Alex Meruelo, Meruelo Group’s president and chief executive.

“Giving Arizona Coyotes fans the option to place pre and in-game wagers online will increase fan engagement and boost the already contagious excitement of every play on the ice.”

IGT established itself in Arizona from the launch of legal sports betting services in the state last September through its wide-ranging partnership with FanDuel. As well as online services, it powers the FanDuel Sportsbook retail location inside the Footprint Center, which is the home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

Joe Asher, IGT’s president of sports betting, said: “Given Alex Meruelo’s success in turning the Grand Sierra Resort into the vibrant, successful casino that it is today, and all the positive changes that he initiated with the Sahara on the Las Vegas Strip, I am excited to see what he will do in Arizona as the owner of a professional sports team with its own sportsbook.

“I’m thrilled that Alex decided to partner with IGT for the hardware, software and trading services to make it happen.”

Bettors in Arizona wagered $486.1m in October 2021, the state’s first full month of legal wagering, a 66.9% improvement on its debut month.

DraftKings, with $151.5m staked during the month, led the market in terms of handle ahead of FanDuel on $120.8m, with BetMGM following in third on $92.1m.