Expansion on the Horizon for Arizona Sports Betting: New Licenses and Opportunities

Expansion on the Horizon for Arizona Sports Betting: New Licenses and Opportunities

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The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has announced plans to expand the state’s sports betting market by offering additional event wagering licenses. This move aims to increase the already significant options available to bettors in Arizona.

Since the legalization of sports betting in September 2021, Arizona has emerged as a leading market in the United States. It is one of only nine states to have surpassed $15 billion in total handle. In a bid to continue this growth, the ADG will start accepting applications for at least two new event wagering licenses on July 8, with the application window closing on July 19. One of these licenses will be allocated to Arizona tribes, while the other will be available to Arizona sports franchises.

The most recent notable entrant into the Arizona sports betting market was Fanatics, which launched its sportsbook in April in partnership with the Tonto Apache Tribe. This expansion followed the ADG’s last round of licensing in August when three new licenses were added to the market.

Who Will Secure the New Licenses?

Arizona’s sports betting regulations allow for a total of 20 licenses, divided equally between the state’s Native American tribes and professional sports teams. Currently, eight of these licenses are held by professional sports teams, with nine allocated to tribal entities. The remaining slots present an opportunity for new operators to enter this lucrative market.

FanDuel stands out as the top online sportsbook in Arizona, partnering with the Phoenix Suns and accounting for a substantial $266.8 million handle in March, which represents 35% of all wagering activity. Close behind, DraftKings handled $257.5 million in the same month, demonstrating the dominance of these two giants in the Arizona market.

The recent exit of WynnBet from the Arizona market, where it was partnered with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, has opened up space for new contenders. Circa Sports, a Nevada-based operator known for its strong brand presence in the Southwest, could be a significant player vying for one of the open licenses.

New Entrants and Potential Shifts

Other major players like bet365 and ESPN BET have also made their entries into the Arizona market, further intensifying competition. Bet365 entered in February, while ESPN BET rebranded the existing Barstool Sportsbook in November.

Innovative ventures like the retail sportsbook opened by the Arizona Cardinals and BetMGM at an NFL stadium in September 2022 highlight the creative possibilities within the industry. This trend may pave the way for local brands to establish operations centered around venues or tribal resorts, providing a uniquely Arizonan flavor to the market.

Changing Dynamics and Future Prospects

The departure of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes to Salt Lake City next season signifies potential shifts in the local sports landscape, which could influence future sports betting dynamics in the state.

As the ADG prepares to welcome new applicants and award additional licenses, the Arizona sports betting market is poised for further growth and diversification. The ongoing expansion not only boosts the local economy but also offers sports enthusiasts more ways to engage with their favorite teams and events.


With the introduction of new licenses and the constant evolution of the sports betting market, Arizona continues to be a dynamic and exciting environment for both operators and bettors. The forthcoming changes and opportunities underscore the state’s commitment to fostering a robust and competitive sports betting industry.
For those interested in applying for the new licenses, the application process opens on July 8 and closes on July 19. The future of sports betting in Arizona looks promising, with new players set to enhance the market and provide even more options for avid sports fans.

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