Already a booming sports betting market, Arizona is now preparing to expand the number of regulated operators offering sportsbook services in the state.
The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) is set to hold an informational session later in July during which sports betting license applicants can learn more about the process before it officially starts in August. The state’s gambling regulatory body is set to award two operating permits to professional sports teams that have a gambling company as a commercial partner and one operating permit to a tribal entity. According to experts, the tribal sportsbook license may be extended to Ak-Chin Indian Nation which was left with no online sports betting partner when Fubo decided to cease its sportsbook operation in October 2022.
At the time when the Grand Canyon State officially approved sports betting services in late 2021, a total of 20 operating permits were allowed, but there were only 18 license holders at the time. Their number fell to 17 following the recent departure of Fubo.
Currently, some of the largest sportsbook operators in the US are already present in Arizona, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Hard Rock International, Bally Bet, Betfred, Golden Nugget, Barstool Sportsbook, BlueBet, etc. PointsBet also holds a sports betting license in the state that is likely to transfer to Fanatics as a result of the latter’s acquisition of its US operations.
Potential Candidates for the Three New Sports Betting Licenses Remain Unknown
Under the gambling and sports betting laws of Arizona, gambling operators are required to pay a $100,000 fee to apply for a sportsbook license in the state. If they are approved to do so, that figure could swell to $750,000.
It seems that the application fee and the license fee are not high enough to ward off potential applicants for a sports betting license. Even more, the state’s sports betting sector has been thriving since the Government gave the green light to Arizona’s gambling market expansion. According to recent data, Arizona became the fifth US state to achieve a sports betting handle of no less than $10 billion, with the result being accomplished in 20 months only. In fact, Arizona was the fastest US state to reach the aforementioned landmark, followed by Illinois, which managed to do so in 22 months. Such an accomplishment is really impressive, especially considering the fact that Illinois’ population exceeds the one of Arizona by more than five million people.
Now, with 17 sports betting permits already issued in Arizona and some of the largest and most prominent gambling companies already being present in the state, the list of prospective bidders is not as large as it would be if the state was opening its sports betting market anew. For the time being, no gambling operators have officially unveiled specific plans to participate in the bidding process for the remaining three sportsbook licenses in the state.
Rumor has it that the competition could draw the attention of Betr, bet365 and Tipico. Cira Sports has also been among the potential candidates for one of the three sports betting operations permits.