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Suns, FanDuel to open sportsbook as Arizona legalizes sports gambling

General view of action as Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks to pass during the second half of the NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns Arena on December 29, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pelicans 111-86. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Just after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday signed a bill to open legalized sports gambling in the state of Arizona, the Phoenix Suns and gambling service FanDuel announced the team’s downtown home, Phoenix Suns Arena, will open an on-site luxury sportsbook by the start of the 2021-22 season.

Pending approval, the sportsbook will be 6,300 square feet and open daily for patrons to place wagers on sporting events throughout the year. It will include self-service kiosks and a ticket window.

Fans at the arena will also be able to place bets on their phones during game days and other hosted sporting events.

“This is a watershed moment for the Suns organization and our fans,” Phoenix Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley said in a release. “FanDuel is the perfect partner as our missions are fully aligned. Simply put, FanDuel is committed to making sports more exciting while the Suns are focused on delivering exciting sports and entertainment and engaging fans at the highest level possible.”

The Arizona Legislature on Monday approved HB 2772, a bill that will bring new opportunities for gambling at casinos owned by Native American tribes and for the first time allow sports betting both on and off reservations.

The bill allows betting on professional and college sports at sites owned by pro sports teams and at tribal casinos. It also allows gambling on fantasy sports and new Keno games at horse race tracks and fraternal organizations.

“As we gear up to bring our best-in-class online and retail offerings to the state of Arizona, this is a momentous time for FanDuel, the Suns, and Suns fans alike,” FanDuel group CMO Mike Raffensperger said. “We’re excited to open a luxury sportsbook within Phoenix Suns Arena, as the beginning of a long-term and innovative collaboration that will have a lasting impact on the state.”

Before the Suns and FanDuel announced their partnership, the PGA TOUR and DraftKings said Wednesday that they will expand their relationship into Arizona’s sports betting space to operate retail and mobile betting services.

They also announced a planned sportsbook location that will be open year-round at TPC Scottsdale, pending approvals.

Passage of the state legislation allowing for the project is tied to the updated gaming compact Ducey has struck with tribes but has not released to the public.

In his January State of the State address, Ducey announced “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.” The governor has been working on a new deal with tribes for several years, hoping it can boost state revenue by allowing gambling outside of tribal-run casinos.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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