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Arizona Internet Casinos

Arizona

Arizona has become a surprising center of casino gambling in America, as Native American gaming has expanded across the state over the past three decades. That has probably been enough to keep many Arizonians from traveling to Las Vegas and other destinations, as there are more than enough slot machines and table games available right at home at these Indian resorts.

But while the live casino industry may be thriving here, Arizona isn’t one of the leading states in the union when it comes to Internet gambling. In fact, there has been little to no movement towards the regulation of online casinos here, even when one of the state’s Senators was pushing for federal online poker legislation.

Lots of Licensed Operators

At the moment, there are no regulations in place to license or oversee online casino sites in Arizona, and there do not appear to be any legislators pushing for such a system to be put in place. While the state has a rather active live gaming scene (more on that below), when it comes to the virtual world, there isn’t much going on locally.

But while there may not be any government-approved sites in the state, there are still plenty of overseas websites that are happy to take players from here. Unbeknownst to most it is not actually illegal for Arizonians to play slots or other casino games online. It's often referred to as a “grey market” jurisdiction – one where there is no regulatory framework in place. However many safe and fully licensed online casinos gladly take players from Arizona with plenty of options available for players to choose from.

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Huge Live Market

Since the 1990s, there have been multiple rounds of gaming expansion for Arizona’s Native American tribal groups. Today, there are more than 20 different casinos operated by Indian tribes in the state, with various operations ranging from small venues that are mostly slots-focused to major resorts that include hotels and entertainment options and wouldn’t look out of place in a major market like Las Vegas.

There are few restrictions on these resorts, with many of them including the complete range of gambling options, including poker rooms. Some of the most popular casinos in the state include the following:

  • Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino
  • Talking Stick Resort
  • Harrah’s Ak-Chin
  • Casino del Soul
  • Mazatzal Casino

Many other gambling options are also present in the state. The horse racing industry still has a rather strong presence here, with Turf Paradise in Phoenix being the most notable track in the state. There’s also a full state lottery, which participates in many of the major interstate jackpot games such as Mega Millions and Powerball.

In addition, there have been a number of poker rooms that have sprung up throughout the state, particularly in the Phoenix area. The legality of these locations has been called into question on many occasions, however, with some having been shut down by law enforcement over the years – though police say that closing these venues are, at best, a low priority for them. More attention was paid to so-called “sweepstakes cafes,” which authorities deemed to be a clear violation of state gaming law. Many such venues, where players enjoyed slot machine-like games, were closed by police raids in 2015.

More On The Cards?

While there is already plenty of gaming available in Arizona, there are still a variety of issues that are being debated or have yet to be settled in the Grand Canyon State.

For one thing, there are still battles being fought over whether certain casinos can be built by Native American tribes. The Tohono O’odham Nation has been engaged in a legal fight with the state of Arizona, as well as two rival tribes, over plans to build a resort casino just west of Phoenix.

At issue is a 2002 ballot measure and the most current compact between the state and the tribes that are based there. State officials say that the agreement doesn’t allow the Tohono O’odham Nation from building where it has proposed, and Congressman Trent Franks even pushed legislation in the House of Representatives that would alter a law to clearly prevent the building of a resort there until at least 2027, when the current compact expires. The tribe, meanwhile, cites a 1986 law that give them the reservation to replace land that they had previously lost near the city of Tucson.

Arizona has also been in an interesting position during debates over the legality of daily fantasy sports sites. The state has been one of just five that the major DFS companies have stayed away from, due to laws that seemed to clearly prohibit all fantasy sports contests from being offered there. However, in 2014, state legislators considered a bill to legalize fantasy sports in general. The bill failed, but brought up some important issues, such as the fact that fantasy sports aren’t specifically defined under state law.

Then there is the always looming question of online casinos. Despite a thriving casino industry, Arizona has shown little interest in promoting Internet gambling, and that may not change in the near future. While one could imagine that at least some of the Native American tribes in the state would like to benefit from offering poker or other games over the Internet, very little noise has been made on the topic, leading us to believe that regulation isn’t coming in the foreseeable future.

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