The dry heat of the desert in Arizona leaves many people inside during the summer months, and yet the warmth of the southwestern state means that it is also a very popular winter destination for tourists. All of this adds up to a perfect storm for gambling, as there is a reason for people to gamble all year round. With such a huge tribal presence in the state, you can imagine how much gaming there could be. This page will cover all the current laws regarding land-based and online gambling laws in Arizona.
Sports Betting in Arizona
Sports betting is not currently legal in the state of Arizona, but this is likely to change in the coming months. Just like most other states, there is a huge sports presence in Arizona, with all of the major U.S. sports being represented. Also, the state has many popular universities that are active in collegiate sports. Throw in events like the Phoenix Open, one of the most popular events on the PGA Tour, and this makes for a ripe sports betting landscape. With the repeal of PASPA, we expect some movement on the regulation of sports betting to take place soon.
Online Sports Betting
With no laws in place for land-based sports betting, Arizona residents can turn to online sportsbooks for their gambling fix. The bad news for people living in this desert state is that these online sportsbooks are not licensed in the USA and therefore are a high-risk option. There is no guarantee that they would pay your winnings fairly and we therefore recommend to Arizona residents not to play at online sportsbooks not licensed in the state or elsewhere in the USA.
Horse Betting in Arizona
One of the few sports that has been exempt from prohibition in the states is horse racing, and this is the case in Arizona. Horse racing enthusiasts are more than welcome to bet on races in the state, and three tracks are offering races in the state. The largest of these by far is Turf Paradise in Phoenix and well over 60% of all the races in the state-run at this location. There are two other smaller tracks, but for a state the size of Arizona, there could be room for more.
Where Arizonans typically get their horse betting done is at the expansive network of Off Track Betting facilities. There are more than 50 of these in Arizona, and they all give players a chance to both bet on races and watch tracks from all across the United States and Canada. These facilities range in size, but they take a significant amount of the handle generated in the state. There are also plans to expand the OTB network in 2019.
Online Horse Betting
Arizona is one of the few states where online horse betting is prohibited. That doesn’t stop many from finding fixed-odds bets at unregulated sportsbooks, but the true pari-mutuel betting is not available. However, those who want to bet from home still have the option of access sites like Twinspires, but only for telephone bets. This may sound archaic, and that is very true. These laws are bound to change to reflect the more modern society
Casino Gambling in Arizona
Casino gambling is where Arizona is one of the leaders in the United States A major tribal presence means that there is ample opportunity to open casino properties, and this has not come without some controversy. Arizona was one of the first states whose tribal leaders believed they were deserving of operating gaming facilities. There was a lot of back and forth between the state and the tribes when many bingo parlors were opened in the 1970s and 1980s. Ultimately, things came to a head when the FBI had to be called in to raid several facilities that had illegally installed slot machines into these parlors.
The end result of all this backlash was a compact formed between the state and the 16 tribes in Arizona. Today, there are 26 different gaming properties in the state. However, some of these casinos do not operate the same way as others. There are two different kinds of licenses for casinos in Arizona. The first is a Class III license, which grants the holder the opportunity to operate a full casino with table games and slots. There is also a Class II license being used in Arizona, and this restricts operators to bingo-based activities. This classification has spawned a series of “slots” that are based on the outcome of a bingo game, which allow it to conform to the regulations but have the look and feel of a slot game to the end user.
Online Casinos in Arizona
Despite there being so many land-based facilities in the state, none of the operators of Arizona casinos are currently allowed to deliver an online solution to its players. This leaves the door wide open for the online casinos that exist in the landscape today to promote their games to Arizonans. These sites, which all operate outside of U.S. law, are not legal and players in Arizona should not play on these websites. There is no player protection or guarantee that the games are fair or that winnings would be paid. It is a bad idea to play at these unlicensed online casinos.
The legislation will change soon we hope and residents of Arizona will be able to enjoy online gambling legally. When they do, each site will be reviewed for quality of games, payment processing options, and customer service. We will recommend the best sites for players who are looking for excellent casino loyalty programs. If you are looking to play at an online casino in Arizona, only locally licensed casinos are those you can trust to exceed your expectations.
Lottery in Arizona
Arizona is full of retirees trying to escape the cold of the more northerly states. With that in mind, it is no surprise that the lottery is a booming business in the state. Established all the way back in 1981, the Arizona lottery follows the same model as many states – taking the proceeds from lottery sales and putting them to use in the state, from education programs to other social services. Lottery enthusiasts are able to buy tickets to national games like Powerball and Mega Millions in the state, as well as many state-level draw games and the ever-popular scratch tickets at the retail level. Currently, there are no online lottery games to be played from the state, although if there is movement on other gaming fronts in 2019, that could also be subject to change.
Arizona Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Arizona?
Even though there are a ton of teams to support locally, and the fact that Major League Baseball sets up half of its Spring Training in the state, betting on sports is not currently legal in Arizona. Still, those of you that are interested in making a bet will likely have seen an advertisement for one of the large unregulated sportsbooks that are open to residents. We do not recommend betting on these websites and, currently, the best bet for Arizona residents its to travel to Nevada to place their sports bets.
When will sports betting be legal in Arizona?
At this stage, it is anyone’s guess as to when it will be legal and regulated in Arizona. However, we think that given this state is far more conservative than many others in the country, it will likely watch from the sidelines as other states regulate and launch in 2019. Also, given the huge tribal presence in the state, there will likely need to be a renegotiation of the gaming compact before we see a legal sports bet taken.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Arizona?
As there is no online sportsbook licensed in Arizona, we are not able to recommend any at this stage. No matter which site you choose, you should always be looking for a site that is considered safe. It is your real money we are talking about here, and although gambling is fun, making sure you can get your winnings out is the key to an overall enjoyable experience. We therefore recommend that you play only at sportsbooks licensed in Arizona or the USA. We have a full set of legal online sportsbooks that we have reviewed for you on the website. Have a read through some of them and then take a look around the site for yourself to ensure it meets your expectations before you make a deposit and play.