Legal Sports Betting in Arizona

Arizona residents have a lot to look forward to over the coming months, with the launch of Arizona sports betting apps. Legal sports betting is finally coming, both in online and retail contexts. The first apps should launch as early as September 2021. 

However, the details about Arizona’s upcoming sports betting industry are still relatively sparse. There have only been a few announced partnerships, so the exact roster of future sportsbook operators is still up in the air, even though many apps have announced intentions to pursue licensure.

This page will break down everything you need to know about the legal online sports betting and gambling situation in Arizona as it stands right now. 

Online Sportsbook Partnerships In Arizona

So far, there have only been a few announced partnerships to start taking up the 20 announced licenses that will be awarded to Arizona sportsbooks.

FanDuel, for example, plans to build its own retail sportsbook location at the Phoenix Suns Arena. This indicates that the book will not partner with a tribal operator in the state – under Arizona’s sports betting legislation, 10 sports gambling licenses are to be awarded to professional sports teams and another 10 to tribal operators, preventing the tribes from having sole control over the industry. FanDuel is set to be the official sports betting partner of the Phoenix Suns.

DraftKings, on the other hand, has already partnered with TPC Scottsdale and the PGA Tour (a major golfing championship tournament organization). They announced this partnership before Governor Doug Ducey signed Arizona’s sports betting bills.

There haven’t been any more announced partnerships besides these two. But we expect several other major sportsbook operators to pursue licensure and a partnership with either a tribal casino in the state or a professional sports team.

Some of the most likely sportsbooks to pursue licensure include BetMGM, Fox Bet, BetRivers, Caesars, PointsBet, and more. The Coyotes and Cardinals may try to partner with one of these sportsbook operators as both teams supported the sports betting legislative push.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Arizona?

Yes. Online and retail sports wagering for all sports aside from horse and greyhound racing was finally legalized on April 15, 2021, when Gov. Ducey signed a pair of sports betting bills into law. The sports betting bills were merged into one and designed to facilitate a quick launch, as the state wants to have sports betting up and running before the start of the NFL season.

The Arizona Department of Gaming currently has a 60-day statutory requirement, during which time they will draft rules and regulations for the upcoming industry. Once this 60-day timeframe has passed, a public comment period will follow during which members of the public and professional sports teams can voice concerns about the proposed rules and restrictions.

If there are any concerns, an amendment period will follow to make any necessary adjustments. There is not yet an official start date for the sports betting industry. But several books have already announced partnerships with professional teams in the area.

Bottom line: sports betting will probably launch in September 2021, in time for football season.

How Does Arizona Sports Betting Compare To Other States?

Arizona’s future sports betting industry will be comparable to most other states’ because it will allow both retail and online gaming. Furthermore, the sports betting industry won’t be tied to Native American casino locations, allowing sports bettors to put money down at sports arenas and a variety of other locations throughout the state.

Furthermore, Arizona will allow collegiate or college sports bets to be placed, both on out-of-state teams and in-state teams. The only exception is prop bets; while sports bettors will be able to place proposition bets on other sporting events, no prop bets will be allowed for college games.

Still, this is an overall minor downside considering that other states with legal sports wagering industries, like Virginia, restrict college betting much more.

Given that several professional sports teams and organizations supported sports wagering legalization, it’s likely that the industry will boom as soon as it launches. Partnerships should be announced over the next few months and final details will follow shortly after.

Arizona’s population will likely enjoy legal sports betting a great deal, as they were previously forced to head to nearby Nevada if they wanted to get their sports wagering fix. Historically, the only exceptions to the sports wagering band were horse or greyhound racing, which could be practiced at pari-mutuel arenas or racetracks.

Other Legal Online Gambling Options In Arizona

At the time of this writing, Arizona allows its residents to practice most types of gaming in one form or another. However, not every form of gambling is allowed online.

Online Casinos

Arizona has 24 legal casinos and resorts dotting the state, each of which is located on tribal reservations. These casinos offer slot games, table games, and poker rooms with a variety of different entertainment venues and restaurant offerings.

Arizona does not allow online casino gaming, although there is not any explicit wording in its current legislation regarding it. Arizona simply follows the common-sense approach that many other states do as well: if online gaming isn’t explicitly mentioned as legal in its laws, the government assumes that it is illegal.

However, the advent of online sports wagering may change the state government’s tune on this point. If sports wagering goes big and increases revenue for the state government significantly, they may decide to legalize online casino games as well.

This is doubly true considering Arizona’s proximity to Nevada and Las Vegas. Nevada’s state government brings in many millions of dollars each year from gambling revenue alone. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, many states are looking to boost their revenue to make up for lost money over 2020.

An online casino industry may well help with this goal. Time will tell whether Arizona decides to amend its gambling laws to allow for online casino games or not. For now, casino enthusiasts can only visit retail tribal casinos or enjoy sweepstakes casino sites like Chumba Casino if they want online games.

Online Poker

Online poker is in a similar state as online casino games in Arizona. The law doesn’t directly mention any online poker gaming restrictions, but there have been historical busts for online poker activity. As a result, there aren’t any legal or regulated poker sites in Arizona, but sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker are still perfectly legal.

Live poker can be found at the Native American casinos and several dedicated cardrooms. Furthermore, Arizona residents can enjoy social poker games, but those games can’t include any voluntary donations or fees or they’ll technically count as gambling activities.

Online Lottery

Arizona does run a state lottery, and it includes both instant and draw games. However, you can’t play the lottery online; you can only purchase tickets at retail locations.

Online Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports are also legal in Arizona. This online activity doesn’t technically count as gaming, so operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have historically offered it in this state even if they haven’t been able to offer online sports wagering until recently. Daily fantasy sports are also offered at some retail casinos.

What Types Of Bonuses To Expect At Legal Online Betting Sites

Legal online sports betting sites in Arizona will provide a variety of opening bonuses and ongoing promotions to make their sportsbook platforms more attractive than their competitors. The opening bonuses can set you up for success and may make one book more attractive than another.

Risk-Free Bets

Risk-free bets are some of the most popular opening bonuses. They cover your initial wager in the event that you lose, refunding you with site credit in most cases.

For example, FanDuel offers a risk-free bet opening bonus worth up to $1000 in site credit vouchers. Lose your first bet and you’ll get its value back in site credit up to $1000. The downside is that the value is separated between five vouchers, which can’t be combined into a single big bet.

Still, it’s an excellent way to protect your initial betting investment. Just be sure to read the fine print for any opening bonuses so you aren’t surprised. 

Deposit Match Bonuses

Deposit match bonuses are also popular offerings among the biggest operators. DraftKings, for instance, offers a deposit match bonus worth up to $1000 at a 20% rate based on your initial deposit.

Say that you deposit $500 into your account after downloading DraftKings. You’ll get another $100 in DraftKings site credit since it’s a 20% deposit match.

The fine print, however, states that you have to play through your deposit match site credit several times before you can withdraw that value as cash. This prevents people from abusing the opening bonus by making new accounts over and over.

Free Bets

Free bets are easy to grasp, common bonuses offered by a variety of sportsbook apps. These are usually limited to certain betting lines or can only be used for bets with specific odds ranges, but they can be excellent bonuses for testing out an app and seeing what it has to offer.

DraftKings, for instance, offers five $5 free bets in most of the other states where it operates. These can each be used on individual wagers only, but they allow you to check out the app overall before deciding whether you want to deposit more cash. 

Ongoing Promotions

Lastly, don’t forget to check out any ongoing promotions or special bonuses a sportsbook may provide. Lots of sportsbooks offer daily odds boosts for particular betting lines or betting markets, especially if a sports season is running. For instance, a book might have odds boosts for NFL lines during NFL season.

Other platforms include loyalty programs or other ongoing promotions that award you with site credit or other prizes if you use the sportsbook app more frequently. These aspects can help you differentiate between sportsbooks and choose the one that best suits your betting style.

Legal Online Gambling In Arizona FAQs

Is online casino gambling legal in Arizona?

No; however, online sports wagering was recently made legal and if the industry is successful, online casino gaming may follow.

How do you ensure that your personal information stays safe at online sports betting sites in Arizona?

While top online sportsbooks use digital security and other methods to keep your information safe, your best bet is to practice good digital hygiene. That means never giving your password or other personal information to another person, even a sportsbook employee.

You should similarly make a strong password and avoid sharing personal information online. An identity thief could take this information from another online source and use it to enter your sportsbook account.

Who’s in charge of regulating Arizona’s online gambling activities?

The Arizona Department of Gaming will be in charge of regulating the online sports betting industry when it finally launches. If online casino games ever enter the mix, it’ll likely also be in charge of regulating this industry.

What are the options for depositing and withdrawing money from online sportsbooks in Arizona?

Different online sportsbooks have different withdrawal of deposit methods. Some of the most common deposit methods include credit or debit card deposits, electronic wallet transfers from platforms like PayPal, direct bank transfers, and physical payments at retail sportsbook locations or PayNearMe terminals.

Withdrawal options are usually similar, although many sportsbooks have fewer withdrawal options compared to their deposit options. Be sure to research your sportsbook choices carefully when the different platforms launch in Arizona. 

Is online gambling safe in Arizona?

Yes, by and large. The Arizona Department of Gaming will strictly monitor all licensed sportsbooks in the state, making sure that they treat user information and funds correctly. Furthermore, licensed sportsbooks will have good security and insurance for their users, protecting you in the event of identity theft or if your winnings are ever stolen due to a cybersecurity breach.

How old do you need to be to enjoy online gambling in Arizona?

21 years of age or older. This is the same age you need to be to enjoy any retail casino locations in the state, and it’s the common age required for online sports betting throughout the country.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of GamblingOnline.com. A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber became a Cubs fan after living a handful of blocks from Wrigley Field, much to the chagrin of her Mets-loving family and Red Sox-loving husband. Amber writes for a number of online sites including the food and lifestyle site Food And Drink Destinations.