Three additional licenses may be issued to further expand the sports wagering scene in Arizona.

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Posted on: July 5, 2023, 09:45h.

Last updated on: July 5, 2023, 09:45h.

Already one of the country’s most vibrant and fastest-growing sports wagering markets, Arizona is poised to expand the number of regulated sportsbooks operating in the state.

Arizona sports betting
Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey who signed the state’s sports betting law. The state is poised to award three more sports wagering licenses. (Image: Line17.qq)

The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) is scheduled to an informational session later this month during which aspiring applicants can learn more about the process ahead of its launch in August. ADG will award two licenses to professional sports teams partnering with gaming companies and one to a tribal entity. It’s possible the tribal permit will be extended to Ak-Chin Indian Nation, which was left without an online sports wagering partner when Fubo shuttered its sportsbook operation last October.

When Arizona approved sports betting in late 2021, it paved the way for 20 license holders, but the initial group was 18. That’s now 17 with the departure of Fubo.

That group of 17 includes Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, Betfred, BetMGM, BlueBet, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock International and SuperBook Sports. PointsBet holds a license in the state that will likely transfer to Fanatics due to the latter’s acquisition of the former’s US unit.

Arizona Alluring Sports Wagering Market

Gaming companies must pay a tolerable $100,000 to apply for an Arizona sports wagering license and that figure swells to $750,000 if approved.

Those figures aren’t high enough to ward off prospective applicants. Not when the Arizona sports wagering market is thriving. Recent data confirm that Arizona became the fifth state to notch a sports betting handle of at least $10 billion, accomplishing the feat in just 20 months.

In fact, Arizona was the fastest to reach that landmark, besting Illinois by two months. That’s an impressive feat when considering Illinois’s population exceeds Arizona’s by more than five million.

Adding to the allure of Arizona for sportsbook operators is that the state has the ninth-fastest population growth rate in the country, but among states currently offering mobile wagering, it’s in third spot.

What Operators Could Vie For Arizona Licenses

With 17 Arizona sports wagering permits already spoken for, the list of prospective bidders isn’t as extensive as it would be if the state was opening the market anew. As of yet, no gaming company has announced specific plans to bid for an Arizona license.

However, there is chatter the process could draw the likes of Bet365, Betr, and Tipico.

It’s also possible that Cira Sports, which is one of the most venerable names in the sports wagering industry, could get in on the Arizona action. The Las Vegas-based operator is prudently looking to expand the roster of states in which it’s active and Arizona checks the boxes of an open, low-tax market. However, Circa has not publicly said Arizona is on its list. The operator is slated to debut in Illinois in the coming weeks.

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