Gaming expansion approved in Arizona


Yesterday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that will see gambling expand in a major way within the state. Sports betting is now legalized, and tribes will be able to boost their current casino gaming options.

The measure was first approved by the legislature and allows additional table games at the tribal-operated casinos. Sports betting licensing is open to the tribes as well as pro sports teams. Keno and fantasy sports are also in the mix, providing players with even more options for gambling.

Updated Gaming Compact

When signing the gambling bill into law, Ducey also signed the updated gaming compact with the tribes in the state. With the changes, up to four new casinos can be created in the metro area of Phoenix. Only two are coming soon, but it will be a major shift for the gaming industry as a whole.

The new casinos will be located on land owned by the Tohono O’Odham Nation that reaches the metro area, and land owned by the Gila River Indian Community. Overall, the state will eventually have up to 11 new casinos across the state, but only four are allowed in the first decade from the signing of the compact.

During the signing, Ducey commented that Arizona has grown and changed since the compact was updated in 2003. The governor said it is important to account for the changes in policies and compacts.

Tribal Gaming Growth

Right now, there are seven tribal casinos located in metro Phoenix. Across the state, players can find 24 venues. One of the new casinos will be built in the metro area of Tucson. The tribes in Arizona will be able to operate close to 6,300 new slot games. This is an addition to the over 24,000 that are already in service.

Every two years, the game total will l be boosted as new deals are approved by the federal government. Right now, the tribes are only using around 13,500 games. Table games will also increase. Right now, the tribes have the opportunity to offer 3,600 in total, but only 430 area in use. More are offered via the deal.

For many years, the tribes have been limited by the types of games allowed. With the new compact deal, the operators can provide Las Vegas-style gaming which will be more appealing to locals as well as travelers.

Sports Betting

For the new sports betting portion of the law, professional sports teams and the tribes will have access to licensing. Teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cardinals will be able to offer sports betting services within their venues. Options to offer online wagering, as well as a retail location, are available.