The Arizona Senate is looking to pass a bill to legalize sports betting, but there has been plenty of concern expressed in recent days. The Senate Committee on Commerce held a three-hour meeting on Wednesday before finally deciding to advance the bill.
Senate Bill 1797 was supported by Native American tribes and professional sports teams and eventually received a 6-3 vote of approval. Other states have had similar support from professional teams when looking into legalizing the sports betting industry.
Senators opposed to the bill did not express their exact reasons for voting no, but it was simply a matter of being opposed to gaming expansion. There have been some concerns about who would be allowed to offer sports betting, but this bill is still missing several important details.
The Senate will continue amending the bill before it officially comes up for a vote later this month.
House Bill Also Progressing
The Arizona House of Representatives is also looking to offer sports betting, and a different bill has been proposed in this part of the legislature. HB 2272 is a more comprehensive sports betting bill that would allow for both online and retail betting to take place.
This bill would specifically allow for the four professional sports teams in Arizona to offer betting, and that has immediately earned their support. This could complicate gaming compacts with Native American tribes, but these casinos would also be granted sports betting licenses.
The Senate Bill has attracted much of the attention up to this point, but HB 2272 could eventually draw more support from a bigger group of people.
Opportunity in the Southwest
While there has been plenty of sports betting growth throughout the United States, there hasn’t been much in the Southwest Region. Texas and Arizona are the two biggest states in that part of the country, and neither has sports betting at this time.
Arizona is home to a number of professional sports teams, and these teams would help drive the new market. Texas is not likely to launch sports betting anytime soon, and Arizona has a great opportunity to make some serious money in this part of the US.
Colorado has seen tremendous growth in sports betting since launching on May 1, and Arizona could potentially do the same if lawmakers can ever agree on a plan.
Revenue Needed For the State
Governor Ducey discussed sports betting in his State of the State address last month, pointing out the need for additional revenue sources. If sports betting were to become legal, Ducey would be able to negotiate new gaming compacts with tribal organizations in Arizona.
The Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation would be one of the tribes that could benefit from sports betting, and they recently inked a deal with a sports betting company. On Feb. 9, it was announced that the Kindred Group had reached a 10-year agreement with the tribe, which would allow Unibet to enter into the state.