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Tribal sports betting bill reintroduced in Arizona


A bill that would legalise land-based sports wagering at tribal casinos and bars in Arizona has been reintroduced into the state’s Senate.

Sponsored by Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representative Steve Pierce, Senate Bill 1525 is a reincarnation of SB 1158, which last year failed to progress past a second reading.

SB 1525 would not permit any form of online or mobile sports betting in Arizona, but does set out that recognised tribes in the state would be allowed to offer such services via retail sportsbooks and kiosks.

The bill also includes language that would seemingly permit tribes to offer sports betting at kiosks or machines that are “located at one or more premises that have a bar license, a beer and wine bar license or a private club license”, as well as enter a lease or rental agreement with such facilities for the purpose of wagering.

However, it is unclear how this arrangement would work, as the current Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) states that Indian gaming is only permitted on lands that are part of a tribal reservation or in trust.

Arizona currently recognises 22 Indian tribes, 16 of which operate a combined 24 casinos across the state.

The bill also sets out that licensees would be subject to a 6.75% tax on adjusted gross receipts from sports wagering activities. However, the bill did not make clear how much licenses would cost to offer sports betting.

Should the bill proceed into law, the Arizona Department of Gaming would be responsible for regulating the market.