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As it stands, sports betting is now legal in the state of Arizona. In fact, there are currently 18 sports betting apps available to Arizona natives. In the past, many believed that Arizona could never allow online betting, given that the state government has a very complex relationship with tribal groups in the state, especially in regards to concerns games and bets. Of course, the tribal governments of Arizona had to give official approval to changes to state law in order to allow sports betting.
The state’s twenty tribes have agreed to make changes to the 2021 gaming law after joining the state in signing the 2021 Arizona Gaming Compact. It is a federally mandated inter-tribal state agreement that was approved by the federal government in May 2021. After its finalization, relevant national regulations followed with the licensing of various operators towards the end of August 2021. This has resulted in Arizona being one of the most prominent states to provide online gambling options to its citizens.
Currently, the law states that up to 40 mobile apps could go live in Arizona with up to two mobile platforms for each of the 10 tribes and 10 professional sports franchises regulated by the state government. . Experts predict there will likely be around 20 apps, with each licensee eventually requesting permission for a second app.
The rise of sports betting
This should come as no surprise to anyone, as sports betting has become an increasingly popular pastime among the gaming community for many years. With sites like BETMGM setting the standard for innovative and immersive sports betting, more and more fans are now pouring their money into this growing sub-industry. Of course, gaming as a whole has always been a popular form of entertainment, and its popularity has grown steadily over the past few years, thanks in large part to the development of mobile gaming. But as the sport also continues to dominate the mainstream media and pop culture psyche, the sports betting scene also continues to thrive.
It was mentioned earlier that in the past, very few could have predicted this series of developments that would eventually lead to Arizona legalizing its sports betting mechanisms. Perhaps the state government just saw the need to adapt its laws to emerging trends in online gambling. The economic benefits of regulating one of the most lucrative categories in the betting market were far too great to be ignored by government officials.
The road to legalization
The truth is, Arizona isn’t the only state that has had a bumpy road when it comes to legalizing sports betting. It was in 2019 when legislation was first introduced to legalize sports betting in the state. However, there was tremendous opposition from the tribal groups in the state and sportsbooks did not receive much support from their supporters either. There were people at the time who thought the sports betting industry would eventually be legalized in Arizona, but there wasn’t much sense of urgency from the tribes to make that idea a reality. Many tribal states were happy with the way things were run and they didn’t want a potential competitor for the way gambling dollars were already being spent in the state.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state, it dealt a devastating blow to state revenue. As a natural consequence of a global pandemic, the state has taken a major hit in terms of the tourism industry. Hospitality workers were laid off and the unemployment rate in the state rose dramatically. Many heads of state, including Governor Doug Ducey, have also taken note of the decline in revenue from their state casinos. As various sectors of the local Arizona economy sought alternative sources of income, online gambling seemed like one of the most logical choices. Of course, tribal groups had a stranglehold on online gambling apps and this forced the state to put more effort into setting up online sports betting mechanisms to help stimulate a struggling economy.
The future of betting in Arizona
Going forward, since major restrictions have been lifted, it can be expected that more betting operators will establish themselves in the state of Arizona.
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