A House committee advanced the proposed Arizona sportsbook bill. It would allow wagering on professional and college sports at tribal casinos and locations owned by professional sports teams.
The approval came after the panel heard from teams. Also, the tribes supported the deal Governor Doug Ducey made with them. However, associations representing bars complained they were left out of the gambling bill.
Bar owners said that existing operators would get additional revenue while operating under strict restrictions or closed due to the pandemic. Also, they said that only big players would benefit from the bill.
Arizona Sportsbook Bill
Representative Jeff Weninger is the author of the bill. It would allow professional sports teams and tribes to accept wagers on sports. Also, the proposal would make fantasy sport wagering legal. Lastly, it would allow horse-racing tracks to sell Keno tickets, based on political forum reports.
Restaurant and bar owners complained about being left out of the bill. According to sportsbook pay per head reviews and news sites, some lawmakers felt the same way. Representative Diego Espinoza voted for the bill but wants to see restaurants and bars allowed to accept sports wagers.
Representative Pamela Powers Hannley was the only member of the panel who voted against the bill. She said that she has issues with data privacy from online gambling operations. Also, she’s concerned about the potential costs of the gambling deals.
Hannley added that gambling is an addiction that can lead to loss of livelihood and homes. She wants her colleagues to realize that there are unintended effects of the gambling expansion.
Governor Ducey released some details of the deal with tribes. It would update the compacts that would expire soon. It requires legislation to legalized off-reservation gambling that tribes allow as part of the new compact.
The governor has been working on a new deal with tribes for a couple of years. He hopes that it can improve state revenue by allowing gambling outside tribal casinos.