September 15, 2021 Sports Betting, Tribal, Land-Based

Tonto Apache becomes first Arizona tribe to launch retail sportsbook

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The Tonto Apache Tribe has opened a retail sportsbook at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino in Payson, Arizona, becoming the first tribe in the state to launch land-based sports betting.

Tonto Apache opened the sportsbook Sept. 15 in partnership with TwinSpires, owned by Churchill Downs.

The tribe will launch mobile sports betting Sept. 16 through the TwinSpires app.

"Over the last several years, we have worked diligently to secure our sports wagering license and today marks a significant milestone for Tonto Apache," said Tonto Apache Chairman Calvin Johnson. "In conjunction with our world class partner, we look forward to offering a dynamic sportsbook, supporting the local community and bringing more visitors and sports fans to the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino. This opportunity will also present great opportunities and economic benefits for our people."  

Mazatzal Hotel & Casino is located about an hour and a half northwest of Phoenix. The 120,000 square-foot casino has 400 slot machines and eight table games.

Arizona marks the seventh state of entry for TwinSpires sportsbooks, which will soon include the BetAmerica sports betting and iGaming platform in New Jersey.

Arizona is already showing its market potential despite having launched legal sports betting only a week ago. Geolocation services company GeoComply reported that Arizona had the fourth highest volume of sportsbook transactions for the first week of NFL games, trailing only New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

TwinSpires will also look to capitalize on horse wagering in the Grand Canyon State, where thoroughbred and quarter horse racing takes place year-round.

TwinSpires President  Ian Williams said, “The team behind the most exciting two minutes in sports is thrilled to partner with the Tonto Apache Tribe and pursue offering our leading sportsbook product and promotions to sports fans throughout Arizona.”

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