The Skinny on Legal Sports Betting in Arizona

Arizona Arizona presents a fairly pro-gambling environment for residents interested in gambling entertainment. You will find just about any type of state-regulated betting venue you are seeking, with the exception of sportsbook gambling and daily fantasy sports contests. Do lawmakers in Arizona have it out for sports fans? No, there is no vendetta against sports enthusiasts. There are some mitigating circumstances that are discussed further down the page.

There are multiple online sportsbook destinations that can legally accept customers from Arizona without breaking any state or federal laws. Here we provide a comprehensive look at Arizona’s gambling laws regarding sports betting, how federal laws impact the options that the state’s residents have access to, and how to locate a legitimately licensed and regulated sportsbook where AZ residents can legally bet on sports.

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Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Arizona?

LegalitiesThere are no state or federal law in force that prohibit state residents from placing bets through licensed offshore sportsbooks accepting customers from the US. From a state regulated standpoint, you will not find any brick and mortar or online bookmakers that are licensed to operate in Arizona at this time. Though the repeal of PASPA has opened the door for individual states to legalize or prohibit sports betting within their borders, Arizona faces some restrictions beyond the feds.

As if the federal laws were not restrictive enough, Arizona’s state laws are further complicated by details contained within the state tribal compacts. In the compacts, the state contractually agreed not to expand gambling options beyond those already existing in the state. Should the state breech this point of the contract, the state’s Indian tribes will be able to build as many casino properties as they choose on tribal lands, and will not be required to pay taxes on any of it. You can imagine what this would do to the state’s budget.

If there was any question regarding whether or not the tribes were serious about this poison pill, it was eliminated when the tribes demanded that the state criminalize DFS activities in Arizona. Initially state officials answered the way many states do, stating that they did not consider daily fantasy sports contests to be categorized as gambling. The tribes were unmoved by this and demanded that the state officially make it illegal for state residents to participate in DFS contests, which they did.

So its safe to say that all state regulated forms of sports betting are off the table in Arizona, including DFS. However, none of these state laws or federal laws make it illegal for residents to bet on sports online at licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks that are operating legally in the international gambling market.

The Types of Laws Impacting Gambling in Arizona

Arizona must comply with two separate federal acts. You have the Federal Wire Act, which shuts down any options for really online sportsbook gambling. And then you have the UIGEA, which really just strengthened the former piece of legislation by really cracking down on how gambling related transactions are processed.

PASPA was a federal ban on sports betting that was ruled unconstitutional in 2018 by the Supreme Court of the United States. Since PASPA's repeal, states now have the opportunity to enact domestic sports betting laws.

While Arizona has not started the process of legalizing sports betting, residents still have several options. Arizona residents can legally bet on sports in other states that offer domestic sports betting, or they can legally bet online with offshore sportsbooks. Offshore sportsbooks have been servicing the USA for years and have a good reputation for fast payouts, quality bonuses, and multiple banking methods.

What Arizona's Sports Atmosphere Looks Like

So, if sports betting is big in Arizona, it stands to reason that sports themselves are very popular in the state. And, of course, that would be correct. Arizona is a state that's crazy about its sports, and it has plenty to choose from. Every major sport in America has at least a semi-professional presence in the state, and Arizona even has its own NFL team. Sure, there are 32 teams, but with three teams in New York, three teams in Cali, and three teams in Florida, the other 47 states only have 26 teams to split, so nearly half of all US states do not have an NFL team. That Arizona has an NFL franchise with the Arizona Cardinals makes it not only a huge draw for in-state traffic, but also out-of-state traffic. New Mexico, Utah and Nevada are all without NFL teams, so many of their citizens make the trek to Arizona every year to watch the Cardinals play.

Betting on the 2018 Arizona Cardinals

After coaching the game of football for 42 years and beating both prostate and kidney cancer, Bruce Arians laid down his clipboard and retired following the Cardinals 2017 season, citing family as his main reason for leaving the game he loved. It’ll be hard to replace the winningest coach in franchise history, but new head coach Steve Wilks believes he is up to the task. Getting RB David Johnson, one of the best all-purpose running backs in the NFL, back after missing nearly all of 2017 will be a huge boost for the team. The success of the Cardinals in 2018 will likely fall on the shoulders of 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, QB Josh Rosen. QB Sam Bradford will likely be the starter for now, but Rosen is the future of the franchise. Sportsbooks have the Cardinals finishing last in the tough NFC West, and it’s hard to disagree. The team has a lot of potential but will mostly likely not contend this season.

Odds for Arizona Cardinals to Win the 2018 Superbowl

Arizona Cardinals: +15000

College Football Teams in Arizona

Two in-state college football teams, the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils, play in a rivalry known as the “Duel in the Desert.” The Wildcats from Tucson and the Sun Devils from Tempe first met in 1899 and have played 91 times overall. Each year, the winner of the matchup receives the Territorial Cup, created for the 1899 winner of the matchup between the two Arizona schools. However, the trophy vanished shortly following the 1899 season and didn’t appear again until being found in a Tempe church basement in 1983. It remained on display at Arizona State until both schools decided to play for it each year in 2001. The NCAA has certified the silver-plated trophy as the oldest rivalry trophy in the history of college football.

Betting on the 2018 Arizona Wildcats

Kevin Sumlin takes over as head coach following the firing of Rich Rodriguez at the end of the 2017 season. Sumlin inherits a Wildcats team with a lot of talent, led by Heisman Trophy candidate QB Khalil Tate. The sophomore dual-threat QB came out of nowhere last season, passing for 1,591 yards 14 TD 9 INT and rushing for 1,411 yards and 12 TD, putting him on everyone’s watchlist for potential 2018 Heisman Trophy winners. Sumlin has experience coaching dual-threat QBs coaching Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel while head coach at Texas A&M. The Wildcats are expected to finish near the middle of the Pac-12 according to most sportsbooks but expect Arizona to compete with every team this year and potentially make a run at a Pac-12 title and College Football Playoff berth.

Betting on the 2018 Arizona State Sun Devils

After firing head coach Todd Graham and going 7-6 in 2017, the Sun Devils managed to lure away long-time ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, convincing him leave his job at ESPN and become the next football coach at Arizona State. Edwards hasn’t coached at the college level since 1989, so it’ll be an interesting case study for everyone watching. The Sun Devils had some bright spots last season, upsetting both No.24 Oregon and No.5 Washington at home, but this was an anomaly to say the least, losing to unranked teams like San Diego State and Texas Tech in the process. Odds on Arizona State winning the Pac-12 at several sportsbooks have them finishing in the bottom half of the conference, which sounds about right. Edwards has a lot of work to do, but it’ll be interesting to see if his coaching and playing experience in the NFL can sway top recruits to come play for the Sun Devils in the future.

Betting on the 2018 Phoenix Suns

The second-most popular sport in Arizona is easily basketball. With the Phoenix Suns having a long and storied history of competing in the dangerous Western Conference and doing well, more and more people from the southwestern region are beginning to appreciate Phoenix's yearly efforts. However, be careful if you're going to bet on them this year. As a fan, it's one thing to really root for your team and hope that your team does well when playing against the likes of the Thunder, the Spurs, and Warriors and Clippers, but it's another thing entirely to put your money down. The Suns don't have quite as much talent as years past. With players like Eric Bledsoe, Alex Lan, Markieff Morrif and P.J. Tucker, they're able to hold their own against average teams, but they don't quite have the firepower to get past those elite teams in the West. So, if you're a huge Suns' fan, just be careful when putting your money down. Realistically speaking, they're a very average team.

Odds for Phoenix Suns to Win the 2018 NBA Championship

Phoenix Suns +40000

Arizona also has a WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury. This team is a lot better than the Suns, and they have three WNBA Championships since their first season in 2007. They won the title in '07, '09, and just last year in '14. The Mercury are very tough to contend with, and they make a far safer bet for sports gamblers than do the Suns. Our Phoenix sports betting guide offers more information on each team and legal options for wagering.

Collegiate Basketball in Arizona - NCAAB

The Arizona State Sun Devils, out of the Pac-12 conference, are another strong collegiate team out of Tempe, Arizona. Now, as mentioned above, they're not exactly challenging the big SEC West teams for the National Championship, but they're a very tough team in their own conferences. So, for the purposes of sports betting, the Sun Devils should be good for a solid seven wins. This collegiate program also has tremendous athletes in less popular sports like archery, track and field, and badminton. If your sports betting extends to these niche sports, make sure the Sun Devils are on your radar. They frequently win in these types of events.

Future NCAAB Odds for Top Arizona College Basketball Team

Arizona Wildcats +2000

Which Arizona Sport is Likely to Do the Best This Year for Gamblers

In the list of Arizona sports above, we left out over half a dozen minor league baseball teams, the Tuscon FC soccer team, and some other semi-pro and B-league teams that many Arizonans root for. This is because we're focused on sports betting here, and thus we're trying to stick with the teams that will give you a chance to win money should you want to bet on them. To that end, there is one team in Arizona that stands out above all others, and that's the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.

There are some very legitimate reasons that we predict they will do the best this year. For starters, they have an extremely potent offense, with a healthy Carson Palmer leading the charge as their Pro Bowl QB. They also have a fairly week schedule. They can realistically go 7-0/8-1 to start the season, playing teams like the Saints, the Bears, the 49ers, the Rams, the Lions, the Steelers and the Ravens in consecutive weeks. Then they have the Cleveland Browns directly after that before taking a bye week. After they get out of the bye, things get tough with a game against Seattle, and then the Bengals. And they close very tough, with back-to-back weeks against the Packers and the Seahawks. However, a 12-4 record for Arizona is something that's definitely within reach this season. They are the hottest thing going in the state, and sports betters should definitely pay attention. If the Cardinals are favored against one of those weaker teams in the first half of the season, don't be too shy about it. They should cover.

When betting on any type of sport, regardless of the particular sport or the team, always remember to bet responsibly and to look for legal online sportsbooks. Arizona might be a little lax on sports betting, but you still don't want to risk your money.

Resources For Arizona Bettors

Arizona Gambling Statutes