Last Thursday, the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill that will allow a major expansion of gambling opportunities in the state, both in the real world and in online gambling.
The legislation allows for a greater number of games and slots to be offered at the state’s tribal casinos, an expansion in number of those casinos, and for the first time, the ability to bet on sports will be made available in the state.
This will also include betting on fantasy sports.
Furthermore, Arizona residents will also be able to place their bets from a mobile device as mobile betting will also be made legal in the state. However, no mention has been given specifically as to whether Arizona will join those states in offering esports betting in the USA, or whether this particular form of betting will be allowed by the legislation.
DraftKings And FanDuel Keen Interest
The news that Arizona is going to be open for expanded casino gaming, sports betting, fantasy sports betting, and mobile betting is certainly going to ignite a new chapter in the DraftKings vs FanDuel battle that has been raging over the last few years.
The two companies have expanded their offerings to offer more than just their signature fantasy sports offerings in recent times, with both now also operating sportsbook and/or casino gaming depending on what is allowed in the state in which they operate.
Indeed, DraftKings has already stolen a march on proceedings in Arizona, where they announced a partnership with the PGA Tour that will allow the company to run mobile sports betting services throughout Arizona. This will include a sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, the home of the Phoenix Open.
A day later, FanDuel countered that news with a deal struck with the Phoenix Suns NBA team that will allow them to operate sports betting and mobile sports betting at a number of venues across the state.
In addition, there is also an opportunity for FanDuel and DraftKings to ‘piggyback’ on the additional licenses that are to be given to Tribes in the state.
A further 10 licenses, like those awarded to the PGA and Phoenix Suns are also set to be awarded to sports. All professional sports teams in Arizona will also be permitted to run sports betting operations at their home venues in the state, as well as at an alternative location within a quarter of a mile of the stadium, alongside an online offering.
Will Esports Betting Be Made Legal?
While many types of betting and gambling are specified in the new legislation, esports is notable only by its absence from these documents. As such, there is no clarity as to what the situation is regarding esports betting in Arizona.
However, given that the companies that are going to be looking at expanding into the state and offering their services to native Arizonians, it seems more likely than not that at some point, a mention will be made to clarify the future of esports betting in the state.
At the moment, it is not legal to bet on esports from a betting site or by using esports betting apps. However, this new legislation could change all that,
The lack of clarity for now is frustrating for esports fans in Arizona but over the coming weeks and months, things should become more clear as the state embraces gambling and particularly, the tax revenue that it can generate from the industry.