15 Arizona Tribes Vying for Ten Online Sports Betting Licenses

  • The aim is to launch Arizona sportsbooks on the NFL season launch date of September 9
  • The ADG will ensure that all applicants qualify before awarding the licenses by August 27
  • The tribes can hold no more than ten online sports betting licenses in the state
  • Numerous tribes in Arizona have already partnered with sports betting operators in anticipation
athletes lined up at the starting line of a race
There are 15 tribes in Arizona currently in competition to get their hands on one of ten available online sports betting licenses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A competitive process

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has received online sports betting license applications from 15 tribes, with just ten of these licenses being up for grabs. ADG representatives also revealed on Tuesday that it had received ten applications for the ten available licenses for professional sports teams and organizations. The department is unable to disclose the tribes and the organizations that are vying for these licenses.

aim is for the state to launch legal sports betting on September 9

The aim is for the state to launch legal sports betting on September 9, which marks the first day of the new NFL season. The ADG will now determine if the applicants each qualify legally for a license by early next week. If there are still more than ten tribes that qualify, it will have to decide by August 27 which parties will get the licenses. The successful applicants will be able to kick off their marketing campaigns the following day.

Some tribes to miss out

As part of the sports betting regulatory framework, no further licenses can be awarded to tribes above the ten license limit. There are 19 different points that the ADG will consider as part of the selection process. They include the operator’s size, the ability to launch within six months, as well as the region that the tribe is in. The ADG rolled out the ten-day license application period on July 26.

no surprise that so many tribes have shown an interest

Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs at the Las Vegas-based management consulting firm Global Market Advisors, said it was no surprise that so many tribes have shown an interest in getting a sports betting license in Arizona. He added that those who are unsuccessful with their applications might end up suing the state, which could delay the rollout of legal sports betting.

Bussmann said: “Anytime there’s more people that want access to a market than there are available licenses there’s a potential opening for a lawsuit; that’s always an option on the table.”

Positioned for legal sports betting

Certain Arizona tribes have already entered partnerships with sports betting operators. Gila River Casinos has inked deals with BetMGM and the Arizona Cardinals NFL team. Other sportsbook operators that have agreements in place with tribes in the state include Betfred, Unibet, PointsBet, TwinSpires, and WynnBET.

Retail sports betting is also going to be an option in Arizona. FanDuel has announced that its retail offering at Footprint Center, the home venue of the Phoenix Suns NBA team, will be ready to start accepting bets on September 9.

Daily fantasy sports also became legal in Arizona at the same time as sports betting. These types of platforms are set to go live on August 28.