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Arizona Clear (Again) to Initiate Legal Sports Betting

Arizona sportsbooks

The state of Arizona has officially been cleared to launch domestic sports betting on the 9th of September, concurrent with the start of the regular NFL season.

Legal Troubles in Arizona

While the state had previously worked out all the nitty-gritty details of USA sports betting legislation, a lawsuit was drawn up requesting an injunction to prevent Arizona from initiating any sports betting operations.

The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe argued that they were left out of negotiations. Furthermore, the group alleged that the new legislation was passed in violation of the Voter Protection Act and Proposition 202.

This lawsuit, put together seemingly last-minute, was made with haste. The hearing was scheduled for Labor Day, a national holiday. On Monday, Judge James Smith ruled in favor of Arizona, refusing to issue the requested injunction.

When asked about the subject, Governor Doug Ducey said the following:

 “A tremendous amount of work by a diverse group of stakeholders has gone into implementing HB2772 and the amended tribal-state gaming compacts. This ruling means that work will be allowed to continue.”

While this is a short-term win for the state of Arizona, the legal battle does not end there. Judge James Smith affirmed that House Bill 2772 did not violate Proposition 202, as the Voter Protection legislation only applied to casino gambling.

What Will Be Explored in the Suit

However, the judge wasn’t wholly opposed to the Yavapai-Prescott’s concerns, motioning to allow the lawsuit to continue.

House Bill 2772 provides many leniencies in how the state will address legal online sports betting. For example, 10 professional sports teams will be allowed to partner with commercial sportsbooks to provide betting lines both in-person and online.

Additionally, only 10 tribes will be eligible to operate online sportsbooks, giving commercial operators about the same opportunities as Arizona’s Native American Tribes.

The matter will have further exploration, but many are doubtful about the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe’s ability to succeed in this suit.

In the same way this legislation creates hindrances for the state’s Tribes, House Bill 2772 also offers exclusive gaming rights to the Tribes. Among these include the ability to host table games such as Baccarat and Craps.

Furthermore, the Yavapai-Prescott people are the only Native American group in this lawsuit, making it hard to justify the damage to tribes across the state.

Considering the sports betting legislation took over 5 years of negotiation, it is hard to imagine that House Bill 2772 will be overturned.

With that being said, bettors can start looking forward to legal betting in Arizona starting September 9th. Whether you go through a domestic USA betting service or an offshore site, the 9th should be an exciting day for every bettor on the block.

Source: Associated Press