Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey Thursday joined representatives of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and sportsbook industry to celebrate the launch of a new era for gaming in Arizona.
“Sports fans, teams, gaming industry employees, visitors to our state - today is an exciting new day for Arizona, ” said Governor Ducey. “Today marks the first day of legal sports betting in Arizona. This means new job opportunities, more tourism in our state and increased tax revenues that will benefit Arizonans and tribal communities. I was thrilled to welcome the Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field and the FanDuel Sportsbook at Footprint Center.”
The modernization of gaming in Arizona was the result of a multi-year effort by a diverse group of partners. The Governor thanked the teams, tribal partners, lawmakers, sportsbooks and community leaders who made it possible.
“The tribal-state gaming compact and associated legislation I signed in April would not have happened without the good faith effort of many,” he said. “Their hard work paved the way for a new era in gaming for Arizona.”
Gaming employs thousands of Arizonans and generates millions in tax revenue for state and local governments. The revenue from the compacts provides funding for K-12 education; helps protect Arizona’s land by funding wildlife and habitat conservation; and helps fund mental health and substance abuse treatment centers. Additionally, gaming facilities provide tribes with funding sources to support tribal education, health care, housing and other basic services such as clean water.
The Governor joined the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field this morning for the Caesars Sportsbook Window ribbon cutting.
“I applaud the State’s leadership in legalizing sports betting,” said Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall. “This will enhance the engagement and interest levels for our fans with all of our local teams, but more importantly, it will generate new revenues for the General Fund. The popularity of sports betting and fantasy sports will grow tremendously, and we will prioritize protecting the integrity of our industry and promoting the importance of responsible gambling.”
Attendees of the Caesars Sportsbook Window ribbon cutting at Chase Field include: Representative Jeff Weninger and Senator T.J. Shope, who led legislation that was part of a compromise negotiated in the amended gaming compact; Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios; House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding; Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall; Chris Holdren and Eric Hession, Caesars Co-Presidents; Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez; and representatives of the sports and gaming industries.
This afternoon, the Governor attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for FanDuel Sportsbook at Footprint Center, home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rattlers.
"Today is a defining moment for our organization, fans, and the entire State of Arizona," said Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley. "We're excited to partner with an innovative leader like FanDuel to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to Footprint Center along with a multitude of new experiences to all sports fans. We're committed to continuing to elevate the gameday experience and engaging fans at the highest level possible, and these new amenities are the latest example of our mission."
Attendees of the FanDuel Sportsbook ribbon cutting ceremony at Footprint Center include: FanDuel Sr. Director of Retail Operations Jeff Lowich; Phoenix Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley; Representative Jeff Weninger; Senator T.J. Shope; and other representatives.
The Governor was pleased to attend the ribbon cutting ceremonies following invites from the Arizona Diamondbacks and FanDuel.
Governor Ducey on April 15 signed historic legislation, spearheaded by Representative Jeff Weninger and Senator T.J. Shope, and an amended tribal-state gaming compact to modernize gaming in Arizona and provide millions of dollars in revenue for critical state needs.
The legislation, H.B. 2772, legalized fantasy sports and event wagering in Arizona. It also allows for ten licenses to offer sports betting to professional sports teams and franchises, as well as ten licenses that will allow tribes to offer off-reservation event wagering through mobile offerings.
The modernized compact continues requirements for tribes to contribute a share of their net win from Class III gaming to pay for regulatory costs in exchange for substantial exclusivity with exceptions for sports betting, fantasy sports and Keno.
In addition, the number of Gaming Devices that a tribe may operate will increase but continue to be limited, and a system that allows tribes to transfer all or some portion of its gaming device allocation to other tribes that have valid and effective tribal-state compacts will remain in place. The compact also specifies the number and location of authorized Gaming Facilities, including limitations, and it specifies the number and location of where and when the new facilities can be opened and operated.
The compact was amended to authorize event wagering, Keno through lottery, fantasy contests and mobile lottery off-reservation. The amendments extend the compacts to an additional 20 years and specifies the types and forms of additional gaming that a tribe may operate.
Representatives from the Arizona Legislature and 18 Tribal Nations joined the signing at the Heard Museum in Phoenix in April.