Discussions on Arizona sports betting bills are put on hold

  • Arizona has bills AZ HB 2813 and AZ SB 1525 that would legalize sports betting currently moving nowhere in the Legislature.
  • The session adjourns on April 25 and both bills could be left on the table until 2021.

PHOENIX – The fate of two bills to legalize sports betting in Arizona still remains a big question mark. The legislative session ends on April 25 for the Grand Canyon State and neither bill has made any progress for the last one to two months.

However, the Coronavirus pandemic has played a role in the Arizona Legislature and its calendar of hearings as they have been working behind closed doors since March 13.

The Sports Betting Bills On The Table For Arizona

Arizona House Bill 2813 moved further along than Arizona Senate Bill 1525 in the Legislature before the traction it was gaining came to a grinding halt.

The last time that AZ HB 2813 was heard was on March 12, one day before hearings began their closed sessions because of COVID-19. Its status was retained on the calendar and has not moved since.

House Bill 2813 would make both Tribal and commercial casinos eligible for sportsbooks. Horse racing tracks could also expand their businesses to include sports betting venues under this bill. No online or mobile applications would be allowed, strictly permitting only retail sportsbooks to operate in the state.

The other bill, AZ SB 1525 last saw action on February 5 where it had its second reading in the Senate. It did not get placed on any further calendars for a third reading. Of the two bills that would legalize sports betting, House Bill 2813 appeared to be the favored choice among lawmakers.

With three weeks left in the session, there is still time for this bill to be heard and approved by committees although action would need to take place quickly to make this outcome a reality.

With the Coronavirus outbreak, topics for legislation are being prioritized by need and urgency and unfortunately, Arizona sports betting legalization is not a pressing matter. This means it could be placed on the backburner until 2021.

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