Arizona sports betting bill hearing delayed

11 February 2019

A Senate Committee hearing on a bill to legalise sports betting at Arizona’s tribal casinos and bars was delayed to give the legislation’s sponsor time to make revisions and amendments to the proposal.

SB 1158 has been assigned to the Senate Rules, Appropriations and Commerce Committees. It was due to have its first hearing on Thursday February 7 before the Commerce Committee, only for this to be delayed.

Bill sponsor, Republican Senator Sonny Borrelli, explained that would allow the legislation to be amended. It currently includes an emergency provision that would mean it would have to be passed by two-thirds of each legislative house before passing to the governor, then coming into law immediately after being ratified.

However this clause is to be removed in order to give the Department of Gaming more time to develop rules for sports betting.

SB 1158 aims to permit federally-recognised Indian tribes that have a gaming compact with the state to operate sports betting. It would also allow venues with a bar, beer and wine bar or private club licences to partner the tribes to offer legal wagering. While it includes no provision for online or mobile wagering, betting via self-service kiosks would be permitted.

The bill amends the Arizona Revised Statutes to allow citizens aged 21 and above to bet on sports. The tribes would be required to contribute up to 8% of Class III gross gaming revenue to state coffers, per the existing tribal compact, which allows for up to 43 tribal casinos to be established in the state.

In 2018 tribal gaming contributed $107m (£82.9m/€94.7m) to state revenue, according to the Arizona Department of Gaming.