It’s been just over a year since sports betting was legalized in Arizona, and the industry is already off to a successful start. Despite only awarding eight of the 10 licenses available for professional teams, the state has seen over $5 billion wagered on sporting events.
This is not the final figures for the first year as August reports are yet to be released but it is expected to be better than July as the NFL pre-season already commenced last month and the regular season is on its way.
The Success of Arizona Sports Betting
After the companion bills from the Senate and the House have been signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, 20 sports betting licenses have been up for grabs. 10 will be for Native American tribes while the other 10 will be available for Arizona professional sports teams.
Regulators set an 8% tax rate for retail sports betting locations while AZ online sportsbooks have to pay 10% tax. Two of the licenses for sports teams are not awarded, which leaves room for additional funds.
The full potential of sports betting in terms of revenue generation for the state may not be achieved but Public information officer from the Arizona Department of Gaming, Maxwell Hartgraves, still believes that sports betting has been a success for the state.
“Just from privilege fees and licensing fees we’ve had over $30 million contributed to the state general fund, so that is a positive from sports betting and fantasy sports.”
Moreover, B Global managing partner Brendan Bussmann added that the approach of the Grand Canyon State in sports wagering. As per Bussmann:
“Arizona offered a unique model and sort of advanced on two fronts. One that tribes would be considered on a commercial level to go statewide.”
She also added that licenses are directly available to sports teams also played an important role in the industry’s success.
The Dominance of Arizona Online Sportsbooks
While retail sports betting generates a few million dollars in wagers each year, mobile sports betting dwarfs that amount.
Mobile sports betting accounts for the vast majority of all sports bets placed in Arizona. For example, last March, the most bets were placed in Arizona, it totaled more than $690 million, and translated to $37 Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the sportsbooks and 1.86 million privilege fees for the state.
However, only $3.3 million was wagered through retail sportsbooks which makes it substantially lower compared to amounts handled by online platforms.
There are several reasons for this. First, mobile betting is much more convenient than retail betting. Bettors can place their bets anytime, anywhere, and don’t have to wait in line at a sportsbook.
Second, mobile betting offers a wider range of markets and bet types than retail betting. And third, mobile betting apps often provide bonuses and promotions that bettors can take advantage of.
Consequently, it’s no surprise that mobile sports betting is the preferred choice for most bettors.