Twinspires Next to Agree in Arizona


Sports betting in Arizona is still not expected to start for another month, but this industry has consistently been in the news over the last few weeks. Sports betting operators are working on ways to enter the sports betting market in Arizona, and this week it was TwinSpires that found a way in.

TwinSpires Sportsbook has announced a partnership with the Tonto Apache Tribe that will allow the option to offer both retail and online sports betting. The Tonto Apache Tribe owns and operates the Mazatal Hotel and Casino.

TwinSpires is owned and operated by Churchill Downs, Inc., and it is a name that has received a lot of attention over the last few months. Churchill Downs used to offer sports betting through BetAmerica but it has been rebranding through TwinSpires.

Now that this partnership has been announced, TwinSpires will be applying for a license with the Arizona Department of Gaming. 

Plenty of Licenses Available

The Arizona Department of Gaming has finally released the final rules and regulations that will guide the industry, and this is going to be a wide-open and competitive market. There will be 20 sports betting licenses available, and the state has split them up between two specific groups.

Native American tribes will receive 10 sports betting licenses and professional sports teams will receive 10 as well. Some smaller gambling facilities in the state will also have the ability to offer retail sports betting, but those won’t factor into the total number of 20 available licenses. 

Professional Teams Not Wasting Time

A number of professional sports teams have already started partnering with a sports betting operator to be ready for the projected launch date on September 9. These teams are expected to offer both retail and online betting, but it should be mobile that leads the way in the state.

The Arizona Cardinals are one of a few teams that have not yet found a sports betting partner, and that could be the partnership that is most attractive to an operator. There are still a number of big names that have not yet entered the Arizona market, but these deals will continue to pile up over the next few weeks. 

Can Arizona Challenge Colorado?

The Western part of the United States is a bit wide open when it comes to sports betting, but there are a couple of large markets. Nevada is still one of the top markets in the United States, but it is no longer the top market.

Arizona won’t be able to challenge Nevada when it comes to handling and sports betting revenue, but it could ultimately compete with Colorado. That state has seen tremendous sports betting growth since it launched sports betting in May 2020, and it is a state that has plenty of options. 

Both states will likely share several operators, and they could also share some customers. It will take Arizona some time to get established, but keeping up with Colorado will be a good goal for 2022 and beyond.