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Sports betting stakeholders speak out on Arizona draft rules


Representatives of leading betting operators and some top sports properties have contributed towards the first set of written comments in relation to a draft of sports wagering rules in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Gaming said that it remains “on track” to go live with the new regulations on September 9. However, before releasing a more formal list of rules, the regulator held four open session meetings to allow stakeholders and the public to comment.

Written submissions from the public closed on June 21, with various key stakeholders represented, alongside members of the public who expressed contrasting opinions about the introduction of sports betting.

Chad Riney, senior counsel at Churchill Downs Incorporated, Arizona Downs owner and partner Tom Author, and Laura McAllister Cox, vice-president of regulatory compliance and legal counsel At Rush Street Gaming, were among those to comment.

There were also comments provided by Rob Dalager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL American football franchise and David Miller, assistant general counsel of golf’s PGA Tour and TPC Scottsdale course.

“The PGA Tour/TPC Scottsdale – together with the NBA, NFL, MLB, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM – respectfully request the Department of Gaming adopt provisions establishing a more comprehensive process and a list of factors for determining whether league data is offered on commercially reasonable terms,” Miller said.

“These provisions have been used (in a substantially similar form) in several states, including Michigan and Virginia, and would establish more guidance and certainty regarding the use of league data to the benefit of all constituents in the Arizona sports wagering system.”

Other comments from the state’s sports betting sector stakeholders ranged from issues such as marketing activities to platform queries.

The draft rules, published earlier this month, have left four key areas open to debate and clarification: the number of skins, license allocation, license fees and tax rate. The final two areas are expected to be included in the next draft of the rules, according to the regulator’s director, Ted Vogt.

The number of licenses available remains a particularly contentious issue. Whilst the legislation sets out the availability of 20 licenses to be split between Arizona’s professional sports teams and gaming tribes, there are currently 22 gaming tribes in the state, as well as multiple sports teams.

“The San Carlos Apache Tribe believes it is critical for the Department, as soon as possible, to determine the specific number of skins available per license,” the tribe’s chairman, Terry Rambler, stated.

Ten retail-only licenses will also be available under the current draft rules.