Interior Approves Arizona Compacts, Sports Betting

The federal government’s approval of a new tribal-state gaming compact means Arizona tribes and professional sports teams can begin offering sports betting. They’re aiming at NFL’s fall opening.

Interior Approves Arizona Compacts, Sports Betting

The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved of the updated tribal state gaming compacts that were approved in April between Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the state’s gaming tribes.

Ducey characterized the new compacts as a “once-in-a-generation milestone for tribal nations, their communities, and the entire state of Arizona.”

This is the next to the last piece in the puzzle before tribal casinos and professional sports teams in the state may begin to operate sportsbook facilities and online gaming. It also authorizes fantasy sports wagering.

The last piece to the puzzle will be the rules and regulations that the Arizona Department of Gaming must produce in time for the NFL season in September. Max Hartgraves, public information officer for the department commented May 31, “We do need to set up a whole new regulatory structure and develop these rules. So, we are on a pretty tight timetable.” He added, “Luckily, we do have that emergency clause, so we’re able to kind of expedite that rule-making process. But, just putting that whole regulatory structure in place, because this form of gaming has never been legal in the state.”

The compacts were updated for the next 20 years.

The state’s 18 tribal casinos create more than 38,000 jobs.

Twenty sports betting gaming licenses have been issued, 10 for tribal casinos and 10 for professional sports teams.

Some tribes will also be able to add new casinos. One of them is the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe, which has retrieved plans for a new casino in Prescott. It will start with site work on the parcel, which is located just off Highway 69 and across the street from the Frontier Village Shopping Mall.

The tribe already owns Bucky’s and Yavapai casinos in Prescott. The original plan was to replace them.

The Navajo Times quoted Bob Ogo, president of the tribe’s board: “The gaming market in Arizona is changing and the tribe is preparing for the future.”