Arizona Online Sports Betting and Gambling Laws
Arizona has a rich gambling heritage. From once being a part of Mexico and a home to 22 different Native American tribes, Arizona residents enjoy of wealth of gambling opportunities and casinos on Tribal lands.
Outside of the Native American Tribal Casinos, gambling opportunities are rather limited in Arizona in comparison with other states.
Please see the table below for the current legal ‘state-of-play’ on sports betting in Arizona, gambling online, online casinos and other gambling types.
|Gambling Types||Legal Land Based||Legal Online|
|Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)||N/A||No|
Arizona Gambling Tax Rate
The gambling tax rates in the state of Arizona are;
- Residents 5%
- Non-Residents 6%
- Wins over $1200 may be subject to Federal Taxes.
Arizona Gambling Age
Sports Betting Laws in Arizona
Arizona has long-established and successful (however, quite separate) gambling and sports industries. On the sporting side of the equation, Arizona is home to NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL franchises. For gambling, Arizona has a network of Tribal Casinos, a lottery, horse-racing tracks and a chain of Off-Track Betting (OTB’s) locations.
Sports Betting in Arizona
Given the strength of both the gambling and sports industries in the state, you might believe that Arizona may have highly evolved sports betting laws. However, sports betting online and land-based sports gambling laws are practically non-existent in Arizona. Even DFS has been deemed illegal in Arizona and the Tribes have not allowed DFS legislation to advance.
Appeasing the Tribes is critical to the existence of any potential and forthcoming sports betting legislation in Arizona, and the proximity to Nevada (the capital of legal sports betting in the USA) are both hurdles for proponents of sports betting in Arizona to overcome.
Tribal casinos are obviously positioning themselves for exclusivity to Arizona sports betting, which may also limit or potentially delay the expansion of mobile and online sports betting in the state.
Sports Betting Online
Sports Betting Online is currently unavailable in Arizona, and even DFS is outlawed in the Grand Canyon State.
Horse Racing Betting online was illegal for many years, however, was re-legalized in Arizona in 2015.
Online gambling laws and online casino laws in Arizona will be required to be debated by the State’s lawmakers once sports betting is legalized and how, when-and-where the first sports bets can be placed.
As per many other states, sports betting will most likely be introduced in the state’s land-based casinos (and specifically for Arizona, that is most likely to occur in the states tribal casinos) before sports gambling online in Arizona becomes a reality.
Casinos in Arizona
Presented in the true Las Vegas style, Arizona casinos offer great entertainment and non-stop 24/7/365 gambling, based exclusively on Native American Tribal Casinos. Tribal gambling exploded in Arizona during the 1990s, and has resulted in Arizona now being home to more than two dozen casinos offering a range of casino games that rival their Las Vegas Casino counterparts.
Arizona Land-based Casinos
Arizona has a total of 26 casinos in which you’ll find more than 18 200 slots and gaming machines. A total of 390 table games exist within those Arizona casinos. According to our research, the minimum bet we’ve unearthed at casinos in Arizona is $0.01 and the maximum bet is a generous $1000.
type games. Slots were introduced in the early 1990’s only to be shut down shortly thereafter. A protracted legal battle ensued until the Tribal Casinos prevailed and full casino services have been permitted in Arizona since 1994.
Online Casinos in Arizona
Arizona’s many visitors and tourists, and residents of Arizona do not have access to play at fully legal casinos online as online players from Delaware, New Jersey and neighboring Nevada do.
Online casino laws in Arizona do not exist and there are no discussions currently occurring in the State’s Legislature on the topic. As in many states, online casino laws are not explicitly mentioned in Arizona’s gambling laws. The central understanding and assumption, is that online gambling is illegal under the main state gambling code.
In Arizona, obey all guidelines that online casinos are illegal (until further notice). It is best to avoid using online casinos (US-based or Offshore) within Arizona state limits until online gambling has the green light from Arizona State Legislators.
Players looking for legal online betting options in Arizona should note that re-legalized Horse Racing Betting sites are all open to accept online players from within the state.
Horse Racing Betting in Arizona
Horse Racing Betting is 100% legal (both on course/track side and online) for all residents of, and visitors to the state of Arizona. Federal laws provide for each state to rule on the legality of horse racing betting. As a result, many states permit their residents and visitors to bet on horse races both Track side, Off Track Betting and online. Since the re-legalization in Arizona in 2015, most of the largest horse betting websites across the United States have a presence in the state.
Track Side: Arizona currently has 5 live horse racing and 2 greyhound racing track facilities.
Off Track Betting (OTB): Off track betting and simulcast racing are offered at Arizona’s extensive network of more than 30 OTB locations across the state. Betting on races in Arizona, across the United States and most major racing locations worldwide are all available in Arizona’s OTB’s.
Online Betting on Horse Racing: Since the 2015 re-legalization in Arizona, major U.S. online horse racing betting sites all accept customers from the state. and offer real money bets on horses and greyhounds for Arizona residents and visitors to the state.
Arizona’s Daily Fantasy Sports Laws
At the Federal level, lawmakers have ruled that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are exempt from Federal jurisdiction. To Federal lawmakers, DFS has been legally assessed to be contest of skill, not at all a gambling game of chance.
However, at the Arizona State Level, DFS participation is considered a form of gambling, which the state bans. The only legal gambling in the state is limited to tribal casinos, horse-and-dog racing, and the Arizona state lottery.
In February 2016, Arizona attempted to exclude DFS from the gambling law, which would allow residents access to use DFS sites. Senate Bill 1515 was introduced, with the goal of eliminating DFS from Arizona’s definition of gambling. However, the bill didn’t last long, quickly dying in the Senate. Arizona isn’t alone in being the only state that bans DFS. Iowa, Montana, Washington and Louisiana all have laws considering DFS to be a form of illegal gambling.
There is a so-called “poison pill” provision in the Arizona Tribal Gaming Compacts that ensures that a change in the DFS law is not likely. A provision in the compacts is often referred to as ‘the poison pill’ provision, prohibiting any gaming types not listed in the compact.
As a result, none of the major DFS sites are legalized to operate or to hold real-money-contests in the state of Arizona, for its residents, nor even visitors to the state.
How DFS Contests work
The majority of people across the United States will have heard of DFS. Outside of the millions across the country who take part in DFS leagues, many may still have no idea what DFS really is, or how it works.
For those of you who are still wondering what Fantasy Sports might be, it’s a fun game where a group of players (called a league), select from among a group of real-life professional footballers, baseballers, hockey players or basketballers (most DFS sites operate NFL, MLB, NHL & NBA competitions) to collate fantasy teams.
Subsequently, based on the way each real-life athlete performs throughout the season, the fantasy teams are assigned points. The player whose fantasy team won the most points throughout the season wins the game. Fantasy Sports are usually played amongst friends or coworkers, and some friendly social betting can sometimes be involved.
Then came DFS. DFS on the other hand, differs slightly. Instead of players waiting throughout an entire football season to know who won and who lost, in a game of daily fantasy sports, results are announced each day. In theory, you may place your bets in the morning, and by evening, you’ll know if you won anything for your player selections. While season-long Fantasy Sports are played mostly amongst friends and co-workers, DFS is usually played online with thousands of other players. Each player contributes a few dollars to ‘buy into’ the league. As a result, winning players stand to win as much as a million dollars or more from the player entry money prize pool.
The best DFS players across the United States are usually excellent ‘budget balancers’. They can generate the best value for money out of their chosen players. The best of all DFS teams usually have an absence of superstars, and are most regularly, a collection of bargain-basement consistent performing journeymen (Fans of the hit Hollywood movie ‘Moneyball’ know the concept well).
Poker Laws in Arizona
There are dedicated poker rooms in the Arizona State area, at Tribal casinos that are offering poker. Player vs Player poker options are available and there are many dedicated card rooms on Tribal territory.
Social poker games are permitted in Arizona and social poker has been interpreted to cover bar leagues without cash prizes or entry fees. ‘Home’ Poker games are covered by the social games exemption from Arizona gambling laws.
In Arizona, you will find more than 170 live poker tables, covering access to 7 Card Stud, No Limit Texas Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, High Five Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Crazy Pineapple, Omaha No-limit Hold’em and Four Card Poker.
Online Poker in Arizona
Online poker is unavailable in Arizona at this time. See section above on ‘Online Casinos in Arizona’.
eSports Betting in Arizona
As with all other forms of sports betting (excluding horse racing), eSports betting is still unavailable in Arizona. Once sports betting is eventually introduced to Arizona (in the state’s Tribal Casinos in the first instance?), eSports betting is anticipated to be popular with the Grand Canyon State’s bettors.
For readers who may be unaware, ‘eSports’ is short for ‘electronic sports’ (in other words, video game play at the highest level possible). eSports are most often played in a team format (rather than individually) in leagues and tournaments internationally. Leading video game development companies have launched their own pro leagues, and as live streaming technology has improved dramatically, it has transformed eSports competitions into global betting events.
High-profile electronic games such as Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, and Call of Duty all have their own leagues and sold-out stadium tournaments and competitions.
In developed sports betting markets such as Canada, Britain, France and Australia, or even Nevada or New Jersey, sportsbooks now offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments.
When sports betting is legalized in Arizona, watch for eSports betting to be offered at your favorite sportsbook in the state.
History of gambling in Arizona
1912 – Arizona achieves statehood and most gambling is banned immediately. The exception was social and home gambling, which is still legal until this day.
1935 – Horse Racing Betting legalized in Arizona.
1980 – Arizona State Lottery begins and access to inter-state lotteries opened up in 2010.
1988 – The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed U.S. Congress and had immediate and lasting impact in Arizona. Tribal Casinos began to offer casino gaming (including table games) in the Native American territories of Arizona.
1990 – Slots added to many Tribal Casinos.
1994 – Total number of tribes with casinos climbs to 16.
2003 – Following a review of Tribal Casinos, 21 Tribes approved to operate casinos.
2015 – Following a period of prohibition, online Horse Racing Betting re-legalized in Arizona.