June 3, 2021 Sports Betting, Tribal, Legal

Arizona plans to launch sports betting by start of NFL season

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Arizona Department of Gaming has announced it plans to launch sports betting by September 9, just in time for the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Arizona lawmakers passed a wide gaming bill this spring that legalizes sports betting and fantasy sports contests. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the legislation and led the charge for an amended tribal-state gaming compact, which expands Las Vegas style gaming to the state’s tribal casinos.

The ADG outlined its tentative rule drafting timeline on its website Wednesday.

The ADG is in the process of drafting rules for sports wagering and fantasy sports contests. A public comment period will commence on June 14 and end a week later.

Then an amendment period will occur, at the end of which the ADG will file amended rules as necessary before preparing for an operational start date.

The target launch date of September 9, a Thursday, happens to coincide with the first official game of the NFL season between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. The Arizona Cardinals open their season three days later on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

State Farm Stadium, home to the Cardinals, is one of several Phoenix-area professional sports venues eligible for a sportsbook. State Farm Stadium nor the Cardinals have announced any sports betting partnerships.

An early September launch also puts Arizona in position to capitalize off the MLB Pennant Race and the first weeks of college football.

Arizona is home to two major conference college football programs, the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils.

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