Sports betting continues to grow across the United States and the industry is well on its way to Arizona. The Department of Gaming just recently submitted the rules for the new industry and if the US Secretary of State approves the rules, the action will start this September. In anticipation of sports betting, TwinSpires and the Tonto Apache Tribe have signed a new partnership deal seeking online operations.
Details of the Agreement
The online wagering brand of Churchill Downs is set to provide sports betting in Arizona via the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino operated by the tribe. A retail sportsbook would be launched along with online options. Gaming licensing and regulatory approvals must be provided before any operations can begin.
Ian Williams, the President of TwinSpires, stated that the team is excited to partner with the Tonto Apache Tribe and work on launching sports betting services and connected promotions in the state. Calvin Johnson, the Tonto Apache Chairman, commented that the tribe is ready to help support the local community and bring more visitors to the casino with the deal.
TwinSpires already offers sports betting in six states, including Michigan, Colorado, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Indiana. In New Jersey, the BetAmerica brand of Churchill Downs is expected to change to TwinSpires this year, adding to the strength and growth of the brand.
Moving Forward with Sports Betting
Sports betting licensing should begin soon if the rules are able to move forward as expected. At the end of August, licensing should be approved for operators in the state and services can begin by the upcoming NFL kickoff.
There are a total of 20 licenses up for grabs and major players are expected to apply, including TwinSpires and its new partner.
It was back in April that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a new bill into law that expanded gambling in the state, including the legalization of sports betting. The bill allows table games to be added at casinos operated by tribes as well as sports betting licensing for the tribal groups and professional sports teams.
Because tribes offer gambling services, the gaming compact with the state had to be amended to make it legal for the additional options to be offered. Ducey signed that agreement as well. The legislative changes allow for as many as four new casinos to be added within the metro area of Phoenix.
New casinos will be constructed on land owned by the Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O’Odham Nation.