A bill to legalize sports betting in Arizona has been heard by the House of Appropriations.

  • AZ HB 2813 is trudging along through the House after just being introduced for the first time on February 11, 2020.
  • The bill would legalize sports betting in Arizona at retail locations while no internet or mobile offerings would be available to residents.
  • The Arizona Department of Gaming would be the regulator of overseeing the operations, rules, and regulations of legalized sports betting under AZ HB 2813.

PHOENIX – Arizona sports betting bill AZ HB 2813 has been heard by the House of Appropriations on Wednesday as it continues to move through the House.

On Tuesday, the House of Commerce voted in favor of the bill by a vote of 5 YEAS and 2 NAYS allowing it to pass. The bill was then sent to be voted on by the House of Appropriations for the following day making AZ HB 2813 move faster than many bills of its kind.

What the Future Of Legal Sports Betting In Arizona Looks Like

If made into law, AZ HB 2813 would allow for land-based sportsbooks and racebooks to be part of the state of Arizona’s recreational activities. Under the bill mobile and internet sports betting would not be legal, but pari-mutuel horse racing would be back at the horse racing tracks for bets to be placed.

Bill sponsors Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Rep. Steve Pierce are also the sponsors for AZ SB 1525 that has not had any traction since its last hearing on February 5. The duo has had different bill proposals to make sports betting legal in Arizona since PASPA was overturned in 2018. None have come to fruition.

“This is a way for everybody to be able to hopefully make some money, and a sports bettor can place a bet on their favorite team,” said Borelli in 2019.

Any revenue from legal sports betting would go to the Arizona General Fund. It’s been estimated that millions of dollars could be made from legal gambling on sporting events. This new revenue stream could greatly help the economy of the Grand Canyon State.

But there is a bit of opposition by way of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, when it comes to making the pastime legal. The Tribes would rather not have legalization through a bill such as AZ HB 2813 because the rules of their Tribal-Gaming Compacts may be different than those they would need to follow should they choose to expand with sportsbooks at their businesses.

What’s Next?

Now that the House of Appropriations has voted on AZ HB 2813, it will continue to move forward. Legal sports betting in the Grand Canyon State could become a reality for a late 2020 to an early 2021 launch for local sports bettors should the bill continue its positive track.

The legislative session adjourns on April 25, 2020. The people of Arizona should know by then whether Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Rep. Steve Pierce have finally succeeded in legalizing gambling on sports matchups for Arizona with one of their bills.

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