As the state of Arizona continues to look to launch legal sports betting later this Fall, there are still a number of issues that need to be sorted out. It appeared that Arizona was set to offer 20 online sports betting licenses, but that could now be changing.
The Arizona Department of Gaming continues to seek input as it creates the final sports betting rules, and they are open to the idea of having 40 licenses available. This information was revealed earlier this week as the ADG held virtual sessions with the public and industry stakeholders.
Allowing each operator to have two skins is a tactic that has been used in other states to help create a bigger sports betting industry. This is a decision in Arizona that is not extremely popular, but the ADG has to come up with a final plan soon.
By allowing two skins for every license, it would attract more of the top operators in the industry and would allow for more competition. This could also hurt some of the revenue for operators and teams that are planning to offer betting.
Sports Teams Pushing Back
Representatives for the Arizona Diamondbacks were the most outspoken in regards to not wanting multiple skins to be available. They expressed concern over the issue, and they were backed by other professional teams in the state as well.
A representative for the Diamondbacks stated:
“We’ll continue to raise concerns for that in our opinion that essentially just allows for two mobile licenses. Our concerns remain the same.” – Amilyn Pierce
These comments were made during the virtual session and will likely carry some weight with the ADG.
Plenty of Stakeholders Speak Out
The ADG has continued to accept public comment over the last few weeks as it continues putting these rules together. The deadline has passed to submit these comments, but the conversation will continue over the next two weeks.
During the live virtual sessions, the ADG has also been hearing from some of the top industry stakeholders as well. BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are expected to become leaders in the state, and they all spoke out during these meetings.
The ADG has confirmed that the final sports betting rules will be announced in a few weeks, but there is no firm date provided. The number of available licenses will be one of the biggest decisions made.
Launch Date Not Changing
Even though it continues to take the ADG longer than expected to create the final sports betting rules, the launch date remains unchanged. Arizona is targeting September 9 as the first day of sports betting.
By hitting the September 9 launch date, sportsbooks in the state of Arizona would be live for the entire 2021 NFL season. The Arizona Cardinals don’t kick off their season until a few days later.
Several operators have already formed partnerships with professional teams or Native American tribes to gain access into the state. These operators are working behind the scenes to have everything in place to go live on the launch date.