Bill AZ SB 1525 could potentially bring tribal sports betting throughout Arizona.

  • AZ SB 1525 will bring sports betting on and off of tribal reservations in Arizona.
  • It will take a voter referendum to fully pass and legalize AZ SB 1525.
  • Federal law may make it impossible for the sports betting bill to pass.

PHOENIXA bill was introduced in Arizona last week and it aims to allow sports betting to happen statewide through the tribes.

What The Bill Does

AZ SB 1525 aims to bring sports betting to Arizona. Throughout the state, native tribes are partnered with various bars and liquor establishments. This bill allows tribes to bring sportsbooks not only to their casinos but to the liquor establishments they are partnered with.

This will be done by placing sports betting kiosks to these locations.

Doing so would allow Arizona sports betting to be available statewide instead of a few tribal casinos.

There is a bit of a catch with this bill, though. AZ SB 1525 does not allow for mobile sports betting to take place. This means that all of Arizona sports bets will happen in retail locations.

Federal Hurdle To Overcome

Although PASPA has been repealed since mid-2018, there is one federal hurdle that this bill must overcome: the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

The IGRA details where tribal gaming can happen and where it cannot happen. Tribal gaming can only happen on tribal lands or through certain partnerships they have established.

At this point, bars and other liquor establishments do not appear to be an exception where tribal gaming can happen. In short, this bill cannot be fully realized with the IGRA in place.

State lawmakers are reaching out to the National Indian Gaming Commission for clarification about the IGRA. But if this bill is allowed to pass, the state of Arizona would receive large benefits from sports betting.

AZ SB 1525 will tax sports betting at a 6.75 percent rate. This tax rate will allow for sports betting lines to be fairer to sports bettors.

There is also a potential for 3,900 sports betting kiosks to be placed throughout the state. Spread out enough, that will allow people in Arizona to not have to travel too far to bet on sports.

Even if the IGRA proves to not be an issue to pass the bill, there is another hurdle that needs to overcome. A statewide referendum is needed to pass AZ SB 1525.

The voters will have the final say on Arizona sports betting. If approved, sports betting kiosks could be available in Arizona sometime in 2021.

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