Sports Betting in Arizona
Placing bets on different types of sporting matches is popular in Arizona, whether it’s on the NFL or horse racing. Daytime dog racing was outlawed in early 2017. However, you’ll need to be making those bets in person at your local bookie, as all types of online gambling are completely illegal in Arizona. The number of local off-site locations increased by 55 in 2018 when Governor Doug Ducey overturned legislation from 1992 that saw wagering on sports prohibited.
- All information on the legality of online and state-based gambling is taken directly from the Arizona Department of Gaming and updated regularly to account for legislative change.
- We stay up-to-date with the latest news and announcements regarding the Arizona state gambling legislation through trusted outlets such as the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Sports.
- Our extensive knowledge on the wider gambling industry is arguably unsurpassed, with our guides to video poker and blackjack among our top-viewed articles.
- Arizona Department of Gaming
- Arizona State Legislature
- Arizona Daily Star
- Arizona Sports
Gambling Laws in Arizona
Arizona is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to the concept of gambling. For starters, it has more Native American land than any other state, giving it lots of space for Tribal-owned and operated casinos as allowed in the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). At the time of writing, there were 24 Native America-run casinos in the state. There are also legal forms of sports betting, bingo, poker, and a state-run lottery. However, for any and all forms of gambling in Arizona, you’ll need to by physically present in the state, as no forms of online gambling are allowed. Apart from the IGRA, there have been no additional exceptions to the federal law that bans gambling online in all states. Though many other states have done so, local experts have stated that this is unlikely to change in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which was established in 1995, is the enforcement agency for the legislation in the state and also runs the Division of Problem Gambling (DPG).
Daily Fantasy in Arizona
Partaking in daily fantasy sports in Arizona is one of the murkiest areas of the law. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich stated that daily fantasy falls under the term ‘internet gambling’, while former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods agreed that none of the six statutory gambling exclusions cover fantasy games. It is officially considered to be a ‘gray zone’, with many operators choosing to side with the Attorney Generals and not to offer the product to Arizonians as the risk of penalty is too high. Though this could change with an amendment to the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, which are due to begin expiring in 2022.
Online Casino Gambling in Arizona
As mentioned earlier, Arizona has some of the most accessible casinos in the country with 24 locations in the state. However, the ban on online casinos is hard and fast, with none of the exceptions in Compacts making any exceptions for any kinds of ‘internet gambling’. If there were to be any changes to the Compacts, experts agree that it would only allow Native American-run operations to offer online services, however there are no changes to the legislation on the horizon.
Playing Poker Online in Arizona
Playing online poker games in Arizona is considered illegal, as it is a form of ‘internet gambling’. Of course, playing for ‘amusement’ is completely allowed, so it is only illegal if there is money at stake to be won or lost when playing on the internet. The most recent changes to poker legislation in the state have all been focused on loosening the rigid wagering limitations for the game in Tribal-run casinos.
Arizona Lottery Online
The Arizona Lottery is a state-run organization that is open to players 21 and over. It has been running in the state since 1980 and is currently excepted from the federal gambling laws in an initiative that will see it run at least until 2035. However, there is no legal online way to purchase tickets to any of its Powerball, Mega Millions, The Pick, All of Nothing, Pick 3, Fantasy 5 or Card Cash options.
History of Gambling in Arizona
The general laws affecting gambling in Arizona have remained largely intact since 1912 when it officially became a state and introduced laws banning the concept of making money from games of chance. The main changes have been the introduction of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which was a federal change, and the signing of the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts.
|1912||Arizona becomes a state and outlaws any means of making a ‘house profit’ from gambling|
|1980||The state-run Arizona Lottery is approved, making it the first state west of Mississippi to do so.|
|1988||The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passes, allowing Native American tribes to set up and run casinos.|
|2009||Amendments to the Gaming Contracts are signed in to increase limitations on the wagers that players can make in hands of blackjack and poker.|
|2012||The Tribal-State Gaming Contracts are confirmed in Proposition 202 to be renewed for 10 years.|
|2017||Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signs legislation banning dog racing, which had been legal in the state for 72 years.|
|2018||Legislation signed that allows for 55 new off-site sports betting locations.|
Arizona State Facts
Arizona is one of the biggest states in terms of both actual land space and in population. Located in the southwest, it borders with Mexico, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and California – an interesting mix of states featuring both some of the strictest, and the most open laws when it comes to gambling. This is reflected within the borders of the state itself, which has the most Native American-run casinos of any state, while simultaneously holding some of the most restrictive online gambling laws.
|Biggest Offline Gambling Location||Talking Stick Casino & Resort|
|Gambling Commissioner||Arizona Department of Gaming|
|Spoken Languages||English 74.1%, Spanish 19.5%, Navajo 1.9%|
|Biggest Local Sports Team||Arizona Cardinals|
|Arizona Tax Authority||Arizona Department of Revenue|
|Link to the State Law||https://www.azleg.gov/Bills/|
|Gambling Winning Tax||5% for residents, 6% for non-residents|
|State Website Link||https://gaming.az.gov|
|Famous Local Gamblers||Tom Schneider and Jim Bechtel|
Gambling Age in Arizona
There are two different legal gambling ages in Arizona, which are dependent on the type of wagering in question. For those looking at participating in forms of charity gambling or in the state lottery, you’ll need to be at least 18. When it comes to entering a casino for a game of blackjack or a turn at the slots, you’ll need to be over 21 – same goes for all types of sports betting, too.
Online Gambling Age:
Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention
The Arizona Division of Problem Gambling is an organization aiming to provide information, education and services to help people in Arizona with issues related to problem gambling. It is run by the Arizona Department of Gaming, and offers various types of treatments both for those afflicted with problem gambling, as well as pointers on how to spot early warning signs. Self-exclusion processes are available that can be implemented on a one-, five-, or ten-year arrangement.
Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes
The debate rages as to whether we’re likely to see any radical changes to the Arizona state online gambling laws. On the one hand, Governor Doug Ducey is somewhat in favor of expanding the state’s laws as long as the government sees a strong cut of the profits, while Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who replaced the late John McCain, is reportedly staunchly anti-gambling.