Bet365 and Fanatics may seek permits to operate sports betting in the state of Arizona.


Posted on: July 27, 2023, 03:59h. 

Last updated on: July 27, 2023, 03:59h.

Bet365 and Fanatics could potentially apply for three new licenses in Arizona.

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Arizona Cardinals fans line up outside the BetMGM Sportsbook adjacent to State Farm Stadium. Bet365 and Fanatics could apply for Arizona sports betting permits. (Image: ABC15 Arizona)

When the state approved sports wagering in 2021, it made provisions for 20 permits. Currently, 17 licenses are accounted for. ADG will grant two licenses to professional sports teams partnering with gaming companies, and one to a tribal entity. The Ak-Chin Indian Nation may be eligible for the tribal permit, as it was left without an online sports wagering partner when Fubo closed its sportsbook operation last October.

Among the 17 licenses already occupied are Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, Betfred, BetMGM, BlueBet, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock International, and SuperBook Sports. Bet365, a major sportsbook operator in regulated markets outside the US, and upcoming operator Fanatics may attempt to enter this group.

Two candidates stand out: bet365, which launched in Colorado just last fall and, per our estimates, has captured an impressive 6% market share in the last three months, and big-intentioned Fanatics,” noted research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG).

UK-based Bet365 is widely recognized as having the resources to become a significant player in the US sports wagering market. It is operational in Colorado, New Jersey, and Ohio and has market access in Pennsylvania.

Colorado Comps, Arizona Tough Market

In the early stages of the US sports betting boom, many sportsbook companies aimed to enter as many states as possible, prioritizing profitability later.

This approach has changed, particularly for Arizona which has a mature market dominated by FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM. These three control 84% of the mobile wagering market in the state, according to EKG. The research firm refers to this dominance as “a barrier to entry.”

Nevertheless, Arizona is an enticing market for ambitious sportsbook operators, and it shares similarities with Colorado.

“Colorado’s population accounts for about 2% of U.S. adults, has a reasonable tax and fee structure, and a generous market access landscape (i.e., 20+ skins), all of which are comparable to Arizona,” observed EKG. “Colorado supports 24 OSB brands, compared to Arizona’s 17.”

Who Else Could Consider Arizona?

Bet365 has the financial means to pursue opportunities in Arizona, and Fanatics is committed to expanding its sports wagering reach, making both of them logical contenders in Arizona; although neither has publicly confirmed their intentions to apply for permits in the state.

The application process begins next month, which will provide more clarity on the operators interested in entering Arizona.

One name to watch is Las Vegas-based Circa Sports. While the operator has not confirmed its desire for an Arizona license, it is already operating in Colorado. Additionally, given Arizona’s proximity to Nevada, Circa may already have brand recognition within the Grand Canyon State.

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