Efforts to bring sportsbetting to the western state of Arizona reportedly received a massive boost earlier this week courtesy of a legislative committee voting to move a proposed legalization measure on to the next stage of the approval process.
According to a Tuesday report from CronkiteNews.azpbs.org, the Arizona State Senate’s Appropriations Committee voted by a six-to-three margin to endorse Senate Bill 1163 after the proposed legislation had undergone a ‘strike everything’ exercise.
The news domain explained that the measure is now due to be put to a vote before the full 30-member Arizona State Senate from where it could move on to the larger Arizona House of Representatives and, eventually, the desk of the state’s Republican Governor, Doug Ducey. If subsequently ratified, Senate Bill 1163 would purportedly allow Arizona’s tribes to partner with bars and fraternal organizations holding alcohol licenses in order to operate off-site kiosk-based sportsbetting facilities.
The proposed legislation would also allow the tribes to run full sportsbooks inside their casinos and offer anyone over the age of 21 the opportunity to place wagers on a wide range of professional and amateur events.
As written, Senate Bill 1163 would purportedly moreover establish a tax rate of 6.75% on all wagers placed via any off-site kiosk but prohibit such facilities from operating in Maricopa County and Pinal County.
‘Strike everything’ outcome:
The proposed sports wagering measure is the supposed brainchild of Arizona State Senator, Sonny Borrelli, and was filed after his similarly-worded Senate Bill 1158 had failed to make it out of committee. The Lake Havasu Republican responded by enacting a ‘strike everything’ motion on the original wording of Senate Bill 1163, which had dealt with penalties surrounding prostitution, so as to wipe all of its previous text in favor of the amended language on sportsbetting.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing our money going to Nevada and tired of seeing our money going offshore. In my book, options equal freedom. Why not allow our citizens to participate in games they like.”
Senate Bill 1163 is likely to face resistance from almost all of the tribes it has been designed to enrich. With the notable exception of the giant, Navajo Nation, Arizona’s aboriginal groups are joining forces to oppose the passage of the proposed sportsbetting legislation over concerns that its features should be included in compact renegotiation discussions being held with the Governor’s office.
Larry Jackson, Vice-Chairman for the federally-recognized Yavapai-Apache Nation, reportedly told the Arizona Capital Times newspaper that his tribe ‘supports legal sportsbetting in the state of Arizona’ but that Senate Bill 1163 ‘is not the appropriate mechanism for such legislation.’