Arizona’s $4.8 Billion Sports Betting Handle: A Look at the First Year of Legal Wagering

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It’s been a year since Arizona legalized sports betting and the industry has seen mixed results. Even though there was a decline in recent months, gaming officials are still confident about the future of sports betting in the state as sportsbooks raked in $4.8 billion in the handle. 

Let’s take a closer look at what happened in Arizona’s first year of legalized sports betting!

Tucson Arizona Downtown City Skyline

AZ’s 1st year in Legal Sports Betting

Prior to April 2021, sports betting in Arizona was not legal. However, all that changed when Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation into law, making Arizona one of the growing number of states to legalize sports betting.

The law allows for both online and mobile sports betting, as well as in-person wagering at casinos which began accepting wagers last September 2021. It also launched limited event wagering for selected operators.

The first year of sports betting in Arizona has been a mixed bag. It handled over $2.3 billion during the first five months of operations. It even reported a record-breaking handle last March 2022 but declined since then. This may be attributed to the lack of sporting events to bet on.

Moreover, AZ sportsbooks retained over $360 million of the total handled over the first year which resulted in a 7.6% average hold rate. In terms of taxes, Arizona collected more than $20 million in privilege fees.

Arizona Department of Gaming Spokesperson, Max Hartgraves stated the Arizonians have been a fan of sports betting as they became one of the top sports betting markets in the US.

“We’ve consistently been in the top 10 in terms of total wagers throughout the nation. So we’re excited here at The Arizona Department of Gaming [for] the success so far for sports betting here in Arizona.”

Hartgraves also said that there have been around $4.4 million payouts in AZ sports betting.

Here’s a summary of the first 12 months of sports betting in Arizona

MonthHandleRevenueHoldTaxes Collected
September 2021$291.21M$31.24M10.7%$3.139M
October 2021$486.10M$36.33M7.5%$1.023M
November 2021$466.73M$51.42M11.0%$3.177M
December 2021$499.21M$39.82M8.0%$1.724M
January 2022$563.69M$41.89M7.4%$1.953M
February 2022$491.67M$25.63M5.2%$0.671M
March 2022$690.98M$37.23M5.4%$1.864M
April 2022$512.88M$29.25M5.7%$1.647M
May 2022$461.45M$55.16M12.0%$4.125M
June 2022$318.77M$15.37M4.8%$0.767M

The Rise of Mobile Sports Betting

Mobile sports betting is a relatively new phenomenon, and it has been rapidly gaining popularity in a number of states across the country. And now, it is also dominating the Arizona betting market as more than 95% of the sports wagering  was done online.

There are several reasons why mobile sports betting is becoming so popular in Arizona. For one, it is extremely convenient. Armchair quarterbacks can place bets on their favorite teams from the comfort of their own homes. 

With mobile sports betting, there is no need to travel to a casino or bookmaker in order to place a bet. Betting apps can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, which makes it easy to place a bet at any time. 

Arizona is one of the newest states to legalize mobile sports betting, but it is already proving popular with residents. With its many benefits, mobile sports betting will likely continue to grow in popularity in the state.