Put forward by Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representatives Mark Finchem and Leo Biasiucci, SB 1158 sets out that each federally known tribe in Arizona with headquarters in the state would be able to offer bets from sportsbooks. The bill is the first of its kind to be announced in Arizona.
This would not be restricted to casinos, with tribes able to offer sports gambling via booths or self-service stations at one or more sites that have a bar licence, beer and wine bar or private club licence. Premises would not need to be located on tribal turf’s to provide sports betting services.
Tribes would also be able to get into a contract with non-tribal entities to offer the services and technologies essential to provide sports gambling via exclusive agreements.
At this moment, there are 16 federally known tribes in Arizona, which jointly run 24 casino gambling sites across the state.
Should the bill come into act, tribes would pay tax obligations at a minimum rate of 6.75% of adjusted gross revenue. This matches the current Nevada rate is way lower than in Pennsylvania, which regulated sports gambling last year with a tax rate of 36%.
Customers would be able to wager on a wide variety of sports, but would not be able to place bets on any college games or tournaments organised by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Arizona Department of Gaming would undertake responsibility for legislating the market and have some options over implementation, including certifying that gambling is accepted out in a manner that follow with tribal gaming legislations.
The bill does not mention anything about online or mobile sports gambling with sportsbooks such as Bovada and MyBookie, with Arizona customers seemingly set to be restricted to placing bets in-person. SB 1158 also neglects any language about an integrity or royalty fee for sports leagues and organizations.
Arizona would not be the first state to permit legal sports gambling via tribal gaming legislations. In October last year, USBookmaking partnered up with the Santa Ana Star Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico, to introduce a sports betting facility.
International Game Technology (IGT) is also teaming up with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, offering its PlayDigital PlayShot sports gambling solution at the Pearl River Resorts’ Golden Moon Hotel & Casino and Silver Star Hotel & Casino in Choctaw in the state, additionally with the Bok Homa Casino in Sandersville.