Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is very keen on getting sports betting legislation approved. Gov. Ducey is not only pushing for sports betting legalization but also wants Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Keno games approved.
Arizona is looking for new ways to boost its economy after it took a major hit in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Arizona has bans in place over DFS games, sports betting and Keno. The Governor wants state legislators to pass a new bill that will not only legalize all three forms of gaming but also make it legal for mobile betting to take place across the state.
Gov. Ducey tried in 2018 to get Arizona to legalize Keno. The Arizona lottery was expected to regulate Keno operations in the state but it never took off. This was because tribal operators opposed the move since they were offering Keno on their reservations and their existing tribal compacts with the state prevented the state from running new games that were already being offered on the reservation.
Governor Expects Tribal Operators To Cooperate
This time around Gov. Ducey is a lot more confident that tribal operators will cooperate with the state and he has good reason to be confident. The state entered into a compact with tribal operators back in 2002 and signed a 20 year agreement. The deal gave tribal operators a number of exclusive rights on their reservations in exchange for giving the state a portion of their profits.
The 20 year agreement is coming to an end and it will be up to the tribal operators and the state government to work out a new compact based on new terms. Gov. Ducey said that when the 2002 compact was signed, smartphones did not exist and internet usage was limited. Everything has changed in the last 18 years and it is time to update Arizona’s gaming laws and bring it up to the 21st century.
Tribal operators are also keen on cooperating with the state and getting a new tribal compact signed. This would mean they would have to play ball with the state government which makes it easier for the Governor to push his agenda across.
Arizona is expected to have a big sports betting industry. So far, there is no indication as to how state legislators would lean with regards to offering sports betting on collegiate games, or restrict it to just international games.