According to a source, the proposition floated by Arizona State Senator Sally Ann Gonzales (pictured) would allow every one of the state’s 22 federally-recognized tribes to obtain an online sportsbetting license. The Democrat, who is also a senior member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, purportedly introduced Senate Bill 1674 on Monday with the measure now said to be making its way through the committee process.
Arizona reportedly ratified legislation in April that allowed ten of its tribes to obtain licenses to run retail and online sportsbetting and add land-based games of baccarat and craps to their already exclusive slot, poker and blackjack offerings. These former operations went live from September 9 and purportedly went on to rack up the busiest opening month in the history of the United States’ embryonic legalized sports wagering industry with net revenues of approximately $31.6 million.
However, six tribal applicants including the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation and Colorado River Indian Tribes were reportedly unsuccessful in obtaining Arizona online sportsbetting licenses even though they had already agreed associated operating deals with MaximBet, BlueBet and PointsBet respectively. This state-of-affairs purportedly led to the filing of a number of unsuccessful lawsuits over claims that the jilted tribes were being prevented from following their compatriots in accessing a profitable source of income.
To add to this sense of exclusion and the legislation reportedly moreover permitted the six professional sports teams in Arizona alongside events hosted by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) to automatically obtain online sportsbetting licenses. These eight certifications could furthermore purportedly soon be joined by two more for the state’s smaller sporting organizations such as the Tucson Sugar Skulls indoor soccer team.
Reportedly read a statement from Gonzales…
“I’m trying again because the tribes had to compete for the ten licenses and not the major leaguers. I had it as an amendment last year and it failed. It’s just so one-sided. My tribe didn’t get a license, so it’s out of a license and, evidently, according to what I hear, not ever going to get a license.”
A second source reported that Gonzales’ legislation additionally proposes allowing the 22 federally-recognized tribes in Arizona to open off-reservation retail sportsbooks so long as such enterprises are located within a five-block radius of a professional sports stadium or arena. But numerous observers have purportedly noted that this piece of the measure could violate the tenets of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and be challenged by already-live land-based operators such as FanDuel Group, which runs a sports wagering service in partnership with the Phoenix Suns franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA).