PHOENIX (AP) – The Arizona Legislature approved a plan to broaden gambling opportunities at casinos owned by Native American tribes. It will also allow sports betting both on and off reservations.
The Senate approved a bill passed by the House, sending it to Gov. Doug Ducey, who negotiated the package and urged lawmakers to approve it.
The bill allows betting on college and professional sports at sites owned by pro sports teams and at tribal casinos. Moreover, it also permits gambling on fantasy sports and new Keno games at horse race tracks and fraternal organizations.
Ducey announced “an opportunity for a modernized gaming compact that will bring in more revenue for our tribal nations and our state budget.” For several years, the governor has been working on a new deal with tribes in the hopes of increasing state revenue by allowing gambling outside of tribal casinos.
Tribes would also receive ten licenses, allowing them to run sportsbooks at the state’s two dozen tribal casinos.
The tribes now have the right to build new casinos under an updated deal. They would also be able to expand their exclusive gambling offerings, adding games like Baccarat to existing offerings of slot machines, blackjack, and poker.
The state would allow any company that meets its demands to operate fantasy sports gambling operations. But, they must adopt the legislation and a 20-year extension of the state’s gaming compact with tribes for either to take effect.
The amount of new revenue the state could receive has yet to be estimated. Still, Rep. Jeff Weninger, a Chandler Republican, said it could exceed $100 million easily per year for the general fund.