The Arizona Department of Gaming has finally released the first draft of the sports betting rules. That release was supposed to happen on Monday of this week, but it was actually delayed by just one day.
The reason for posting the first draft of the rules was so that the ADG can accept public comments before a final set of rules is posted. Anyone from the public is able to download a form and share their thoughts and concerns with the ADG.
There will also be four virtual sessions held over the next few days to go over some of the key parts of the rules and hear opinions from stakeholders in the industry. During each of the sessions, both sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports will be discussed.
While many of the key rules have already been agreed upon in the gaming compacts that were signed with the state and Native American tribes, the ADG still has plenty of work to do. The hope is that there are not many amendments that need to be made, but there will be some updates needed.
Four Key Areas Being Discussed
There are four key areas being looked at by stakeholders and the public, and this will play a role in how the industry is set up. The four areas are the number of skins, tax rate, licensing fees, and license allocation.
Currently, 20 licenses are expected to be available, and each license will come with just one skin. That would still leave the state with plenty of options, but the public could be looking to add more.
Operators are keeping a close eye on how the tax rate is set up, as well as what it will cost to obtain a license. No number is going to scare away potential sports betting sites, but they would prefer to pay as little as possible.
Time is of the Essence
Arizona has set a target launch date for September 9, which is the first day of the 2021 NFL season. Launching the industry before the start of NFL football will give the state a chance to get off to a fast start.
According to the ADG, it is still on track to meet the target date, but it is starting to cut things close. License applications have not even been made available yet, and it will take some time to review applications and approve licenses.
As of now, all applications are due on July 11, giving the ADG a full 60 days to make a final decision.
Could Be a Large Market
Lawmakers in Arizona included some language in the bill that could turn this state into a major force in the industry. There will be up to 20 sports betting licenses available, with ten going to the tribes and the other ten going to professional sports teams.
Arizona is expected to attract all of the top sports betting operators in the United States, and at least three of them have already gained access into the state through partnerships.
DraftKings has partnered with TPC Scottsdale, Caesars Entertainment is partnering with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and FanDuel is a partner of the Phoneix Suns. Through these deals, online sports betting will be available, but retail betting can also be offered at the stadiums.