Arizona Sports Betting Market Set to Expand with New Operators

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The sporting landscape of Arizona is set for another overhaul, as the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has unveiled plans to broaden the horizons of its sports wagering market, with at least two more operators expected to join the ranks.

As per the state law, Arizona can play host to a maximum of 20 sportsbooks. At present, 17 are holding sway over the state’s betting market. Keeping the dynamics diversified, ADG aims to welcome an operator each from a Tribal gaming group and a professional sports franchise, with the application window being open from July 8 to July 19.

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To get the green light, applicants need to turn in their completed applications within the specified duration. The ADG has assured to employ an exhaustive and meticulous evaluation process for all the applications, firmly staying within the boundaries of the State’s event wagering rules and statutes.

The State regulates a balance in the issuing of sports wagering permits, with an even split of 10 each linked to professional sports teams and Native American tribes. As it stands, eight credentials are held by the former and nine by the latter. That leaves room for three potential candidates vying for the coveted licenses.

Arizona plunged into the arena of online sports betting just recently in 2021. Yet, it has stridden ahead boldly, being among only 11 states where operators have accumulated combined revenue of over $1 billion, and among just nine to have a handle exceeding $15 billion.

The playfield has seen constant shifts, with some gaming entities significantly retracting their online sports betting operations or even exiting the industry altogether, causing some turbulence at the operator level, not just in Arizona but in many other states as well.

Among the revelations from the shuffle, Bet365 emerged as the 17th sportsbook operator in the state last August. Other significant reshuffles have seen ESPN Bet stepping in, rebranded from Barstool Sports, and the arrival of Fanatics.

Interestingly, the market domination battle seems to be a two-horse race at the moment, with DraftKings and FanDuel controlling approximately 70% of the market share. The lineup of sportsbooks operating in Arizona also includes Bally Bet, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Rush Street Interactive (Bet Rivers), and SuperBook Sports, to name a few.

Looking at the future scenario, it remains hard to predict which firms might wish to venture into the ripe Arizona market. However, there’s no disputing the allure of the state’s betting landscape. The reasonable 10% tax on sports wagering is certainly a tempting proposition.

To add to the appeal, Arizona is the 14th-largest state in terms of population and among the fastest-growing in the nation. Its wide variety of online operators draws bettors even from Nevada, enticing them to cross state boundaries to indulge in a diverse range of odds and bets. Californian punters are also known to make the journey to Arizona, given their home state’s prohibition on sports wagering.

Among the potential contenders for an Arizona license, Las Vegas-based Circa Sports could be a sensible option, given its inclination towards operating in low-tax jurisdictions and its established brand recognition in Arizona. However, the company has kept its cards close to its chest, refraining from any public declaration about its intentions for an Arizona permit.