ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

What to know as legal sports gambling begins in Arizona

Sep 9, 2021, 9:15 AM
Images of the FanDuel sportsbook inside Footprint Center. (Photo by luiscolato.com)...
Images of the FanDuel sportsbook inside Footprint Center. (Photo by luiscolato.com)
(Photo by luiscolato.com)

Arizona’s first sports betting operations officially open for business Thursday in time for the start of the NFL season. Here’s what you need to know to place your first bets in the state.

Which in-person betting services are open Thursday?

The FanDuel sportsbook at downtown Phoenix’s Footprint Center, where the Phoenix Suns play, and temporary betting windows just down the street at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field run by Caesars Entertainment are set to take in-person bets.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Footprint Center, home of the Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rattlers football team, opens at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

The sportsbook, with 7,400 square feet (687 square meters) of space and an outdoor terrace, has five betting windows plus one for VIPS, a large video wall, 40 HD televisions and 26 self-service kiosks.

An official watch party for the NFL season opener featuring the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starts at 4 p.m., with kickoff set for 5:20 p.m. The watch party will be held in the Footprint Center’s Pavilion, a slightly larger space.

The Diamondbacks plan to open their own sportsbook outside Chase Field early next year in partnership with Caesars.

What other sportsbooks are still coming?

In addition to the Suns and Diamondbacks, the state awarded licenses to the Mercury, Rattlers, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, TPC Scottsdale and Phoenix Speedway. Retail locations must be close by the playing sites, but permits have not been finalized for their locations, Gaming Department spokesman Max Hartgraves said Wednesday.

The state law allowed licenses for up to 10 professional sports teams and eight were awarded last month, and they and tribes can partner with sportsbooks. The team licenses allow retail and online betting.

Which betting services are accepting wagers online?

Online wagers are being accepted by Unibet, WynnBET, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool Sports and Caesars.

How did Arizona get here?

The action was made possible by a new law enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey this spring. Gambling other than old-school contests like Bingo run for charities was banned outside of casinos run by Native American tribes before the law was passed.

Arizona now will join more than half the states in allowing betting on sports, just three years after it was allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The state hopes to pull in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue from legalized gambling.

The governor’s office negotiated new agreements with the tribes to allow betting on live and fantasy sports. In exchange, they were allowed to expand their table game and slot machine offerings and run their own sports books at their casinos. Ten tribes also won licenses to take sports bets online. Online fantasy sports wagering became legal late last month, with Arizona being one of the few states where it was still banned.

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What to know as legal sports gambling begins in Arizona