Arizona Sports Betting Bill Moves Forward In The House

(Photo by Ethan Miller)

The Arizona State Commerce Committee has passed Rep. Jeff Weninger’s HB2772, which will make sports betting legal in Arizona on a 9-1 vote. The bill was supported by Gov. Doug Ducey, numerous sports teams and Native American tribes.

Sen. TJ Shope is running a mirror of the bill in the Senate.

The bills would allow pro sports teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks and tribes that already run casinos to have sports betting operations, according to an Associated Press report.

The bills would legalize fantasy sport betting from online operators, and it would allow new betting at horse racing tracks and groups like the VFW, which would be able to sell Keno tickets.

Ducey’s General Counsel Anni Foster testified in front of the Committee as to the status of current discussions with the tribes and asserted that the state already “has an agreement in principle” with them. That agreement is critical for the bill to take effect this year due to the fact that the Gaming Compact between the State and tribal governments essentially controls gaming in Arizona.

All federally recognized tribes in Arizona have a Gaming Compact with the State. The Compact with each of the 22 tribes is substantially identical.

The Compacts gave tribes exclusive rights to operate slot machines and casino style gaming, limited the number of slot machines and casinos, established comprehensive rules governing gaming, and set minimum internal control standards for casino operations.

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley was the lone “no” vote. She expressed concerns about the lack of information about what data will be gathered from the bettors using the systems.