- Arizona has a chance to regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks through House Bill 2772 within the next two weeks.
- The House has already passed the proposal that is looking for Senate approval before Governor Doug Ducey will be able to sign the measure into law.
- The Arizona Legislature adjourns for 2021 on April 24.
PHOENIX – The Arizona Legislature is winding down its 2021 session but should be hearing more on sports betting legislation come Monday before adjourning for the year in two weeks.
There were three bills that were heard this year within the legislature but two out of the three look to be out of contention.
The proposal that is said to be allotted more time for discussions on regulating the sports wagering industry of the Grand Canyon State is House Bill 2772.
What Are House Bill 2772 And The Other Two Bills?
Earlier in the 2021 session there were Senate Bill 1794 and Senate Bill 1797, along with House Bill 2772. Senate Bill 1794 was a measure to regulate wagering on Historical Horse Racing (HHR). It was later combined with Senate Bill 1797 to become one big gaming bill that would regulate both gambling on HHR and sporting events.
Although it was expected to be seen in the Senate next week, the proposal was withdrawn on Thursday, bowing out gracefully before likely seeing its death by the hand of the legislature.
And then there was one; AZ HB 2772.
House Bill 2772 passed in its third reading in the House on March 4 with a majority vote of 48-12. Since then, it’s been waiting to be heard by the Senate and will now finally receive its chance. But what is this sole proposal offering?
Sports wagering for retail and mobile sportsbooks would be open should the measure pass in the Senate within the next two weeks. In total, there are 31 locations that would be eligible for a brick-and-mortar sports betting venue license that include seven professional sports team facilities and 24 tribal casinos in the state.
Tribes would be able to offer their patrons a mobile sportsbook platform to be used off their land as well, giving sports bettors statewide access to wager from wherever they are with these apps. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), collegiate, and professional sports would be open for betting.
HHR would not be a part of the package as the machines that make this type of wagering possible were not included within the bill.
AZ HB 2772 would be open for the 31 businesses to apply for the twenty licenses available under the proposal. Ten would go to professional sports teams or businesses affiliated with them and the other ten would go to tribally owned businesses.
Should the Senate pass this bill, it would then lend its hand to help pass a new tribal gaming compact for Arizona to include sports wagering.
Governor Doug Ducey wants to see a regulated sports betting market in Arizona and will likely sign off on this bill should it get to his desk. The Senate would first need to approve the terms in the next week or two in order for this to become a reality in 2021 for the Grand Canyon State.
It is estimated that $12.3 million in annual taxes from GGR would be collected from the industry at a tax rate of 8%. The tribes, as well as professional teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks, and operators like DraftKings have all come forward to speak in favor of this legislation passing into law.
With all of the support for House Bill 2772, including that of the Governor, its really the choice of the Senate whether or not to push the measure forward to become law. Residents of Arizona will get answers within the next two weeks as the Arizona Legislature adjourns for 2021 on April 24.
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Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.