Gambling in Arizona

Arizona is a state with a lucrative and thriving gambling industry. Considering the proximity to Nevada, it quickly puts lawmakers on their toes regarding potential tax revenue. Arizonians love wagering on their favorite sports and games. And whichever way, they were going to create the best online gambling experience possible.

Over the years, the gambling space has seen incredible improvement. Native American Tribal casinos are game-changers. However, there is still a lot of work to do or perhaps some legal grey area that needs to clear out. There are about 25 tribal casinos offering gaming services to residents within the state line.  

Considering the history of gambling in the Grand Canyon State, it is essential to recognize how far they have come. AZ was considered an anti-gambling state in the 20th century but has become one of the frontier states with incredible gambling opportunities.

The gambling laws in the state do not support all gaming activities. However, there has been a growth of legal gaming products offered. Legal options include online Keno, sports betting, off-track betting, lottery draw games, horse betting, charitable gambling, daily fantasy sports, lottery, and many more.

Here in this review, we would consider the gambling laws in the State, sports betting market, online casino, lottery, horse racing, etcetera. This is a guide you wish to read.

Gambling Laws in Arizona

The legality or illegality of gaming products is tied to the general gambling laws in the State. In essence, a gambling product could be illegal if It is not excluded from unlawful acts. Gambling has been legal in the State since 1988. However, there are gaming products that are still considered illegal due to regulations.

The road to legalization in Arizona began with the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act of 1988. This act was passed by the US Congress and led to the agreement between the Native American tribes and the state government. In addition, the act is an agreement that states would allow Indians to manage gaming on reservations. It was compulsory that every tribe interested in Class III casino-style gaming signs it.

Over the years, there has been a need to adjust the Tribal-State Gaming Compact to improve gambling services to Arizona’s residents, tribes, and visitors. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows states and tribes to regulate gaming services.

Institutions like the Arizona Gaming Department and National Indian Gaming Commission were created to oversee various aspects of Class III gambling.

Here is a quick rundown of the laws.

  • The first Compact signed between 16 tribes was signed between 1992 – 1994 by Governor Symington.  
  • In 1998, the 17th tribe was added to the Compact by Governor Jane Hull, allowing casino-style gaming, keno, blackjack, slot machines, etcetera. The Compact compelled the state of Arizona to stick to the agreement, giving tribal regulators the necessary support to ensure the integrity of Class III gaming is preserved. Also, it limited the number of casinos, slot machines, clearly stated the rules governing gambling, and specified the minimum control standards regarding casinos. These first Compacts were effective from 1993 to 2003.
  • In November 2002, residents voted for the continuation, Proposition 202 of tribal gaming.
  • December 2002 – January 2003, a new Compact between the governor, Jane Dee Hull, and 16 tribes was signed.
  • November 2017 saw the Hopi tribe being signed by Gov. Douglas A. Ducey. The agreement is a 10-year Compact and is renewable for another 10. There is also an additional three years attached to it.
  • April 2021, a new Compact, for five years, is signed with the tribes. This Compact increases the gaming products, allowing sports betting within AZ. Online draw games, Daily Fantasy Sports games, Keno are also permitted in the State. Interestingly, this new compact or expansion does not include Arizona online casinos.
  • In August 2021, sportsbooks operators can now offer Daily Fantasy sports as one of their products. In essence, Daily Fantasy sports is live in AZ.
  • September 2021, residents of Arizona can now place wagers on sports. The New Tribal-State Gaming Compacts were approved and signed into law. This Compact is valid for the next 20 years. In addition, the Compacts sets a maximum number of gaming machines for each gaming facility.  

The Governing Body

In 1995, the State Legislature of Arizona established the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG). This state government agency was established and charged with overseeing the growing gambling industry, including pari-mutuel wagering, racing, unarmed combat sports, gaming operation, etcetera.

As earlier mentioned, gaming operations in AZ are regulated by the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. The department corroborates with the tribes to supervise and inspect their casinos, licensing, and investigating vendor companies and casino employees. They also ensure tribal casinos contribute a certain percentage of profit to state and local government.

Essentially, they enforce the gambling laws agreed between the State and the tribes, ensuring unauthorized and illegal gaming are not given a free flow. The Arizona Department of Gaming works with police enforcement to check and investigate violations. It would interest you to note that the ADG also runs the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling (OPG). They ensure responsible gambling and provide the necessary support or treatment to problem gamblers.

Staying Safe Playing Online Games

The internet is a great space with fantastic opportunities. Playing on legal and regulated online casinos is the best way to avoid losing real money. We encourage gamers not to rush into selecting gambling sites.

There are legal and illegal gambling operators for online gaming. It is up to you to carry out the due diligence of finding the right operator for your gaming adventure. There would be consequences for signing up on an illegal site. Also, we do not recommend you try out offshore sites.

Finding legal casino operators is critical to having a fantastic gaming experience. Online casinos are yet to be approved by the State. The only way residents can wager on games is via offshore platforms. Playing at offshore sites poses some risk to the user.  Here, we would equip you with the right information to stay away from an illegal gaming operator.

What Is the Tax Rate for Gambling Winnings in Arizona?

Gambling winnings are considered income in AZ and are taxable. This implies that bettors are supposed to report on federal and state tax returns. The tax rate is different for each player but depends on annual income, filing status, and tax bracket. Essentially, the tax rate in Arizona is between 2.59% to 4.59%. here is a little breakdown:

Rate - 4.50%

  • Married - $318,001 and over
  • Single - $159,001 and over

Rate - 4.17%

  • Married - $106,001 - $318,000
  • Single - $53,001 - $159,000

Rate - 3.34%

  • Married - $53,001 - $106,000
  • Single - $26,501 - $53,000

Rate - 2.59%

  • Married - $0 - $53,000
  • Single - $0 - $26,500

How to Differentiate Between Legal and Illegal Operators:

License

It is essential to check out the license of a potential gambling operator before signing up. This is one quality that keeps you safe and secure. We recommend you sign up on operators with the ADG license. Most offshore betting sites have illegal practices; they have no license or possess a license from a country that is not recognized.

In essence, they could be licensed from a country where due diligence is never carried out. On the other hand, legal casinos are licensed and regulated by a known governing body. Essentially, you should stay away from sites without the ADG license.

Bonus Offers

Bonuses are incentives used to attract players. Every casino has this trick at its tip. However, legal casinos have bonus offers that are reasonable with feasible playthrough requirements. Illegal casinos offer huge bonus offers that are too good to be true. Most greedy players fall into this trap and lose a lot of money.

Also, the payout percentage is very high. This is all planned to lure players to their sites.

Security

At a legal operator, your details are secured; personal and banking information. They offer two-factor authentication, password, and SSL encryption to safeguard your information from third parties. Illegal operators don’t have such practices. They practically don’t spend good money on securing the gaming platform. In addition, third parties would have access to your details because there are always loopholes in their security system.

Compulsive Gambling

Legal sites offer problem gamblers a way out. They allow the use of gambling blockers like GamStop, Gamban, GamBlock, etcetera. Illegal sites don’t let these accessories. Most problem gamblers are unable to recover fully because of unlawful sites. Illegal sites allow punters spend all their day online if that is possible. Of course, they are solely interested in ripping off your money.

Gambling should be regulated. You must play at a secured gaming platform because you would provide sensitive information to the casino operator. You can quickly verify if a casino is legal with the above features.

We recommend that you game on a domestic legal site. You can be confident that the details provided are secured and safe. If you have any issues or complaints, they can quickly be resolved by visiting the institution or calling through. Also, if you intend to avoid gambling for a while, there are adequate steps to take for self-exclusion.

On the other hand, illegal offshore gambling sites can’t be traced, and organizations like the Department of Gaming would be powerless to intervene. These offshore sites operate outside the US, making it difficult to come under state and federal laws. To be safe, play at legal domestic gambling sites in Arizona. This saves you a whole lot of trouble.

Legal Gambling Categories in Arizona

Sports Betting

Sports betting is live in Arizona. The new law allows sportsbook to offer their product to residents. About 20 licenses are issued; 10 for the sporting venues and 10 for the tribal casinos. In essence, bettors can place wagers via brick-and-mortar bookies or an online operator. There are also betting apps available for sports betting.

Online Casinos

At the moment, online casinos are not yet regulated in Arizona. The recent law did not include online casino gaming. Residents are unable to wager online at casinos.

The only exception is overseer gambling sites which would be considered as being illegal. However, there is hope for bettors in the State who believe they would access various casino games sooner than later.

Poker

Casinos operate on the Native Indian Reservations. But online poker is yet to be removed from illegal acts. However, poker lovers can still show their skills in the available poker rooms. To make poker legal, the gaming host creates procedures and rules that restrict buy-in to play, no requirement for players to get items from the facility, and no cover charge. With these in place, players are allowed to enjoy poker. There are over 20 poker rooms through which gambler can build their bankroll. Benefits go to the participants only.

Fantasy Sports Leagues

The upward trajectory of sports betting in the US is something bettors are happy about. Arizona, in its recent law, legalized daily fantasy sports. House Bill 2772, together with the amended Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, guides the operation of the FSL. The bill also states that the providers are responsible for providing help to problem gamblers. Also, individuals interested in taking some time off should be given the necessary assistance.

Resident can place parlays and Moneyline bets on the NBA, MLB, college football, and many more sports. The law states that operators are not allowed to take a cut, just participants.

Daily Fantasy Sports is quite different in Arizona. Only residents who are 21 years old or more can wager. Other states allow fantasy sports players who are 18 years or more.   However, when you understand that before this time, DFS was banned, you would cut the authorities some slack.

Lottery

The Grand Canyon State has always had lottery products available. The lottery was first approved in 1980 and launched in 1981. Residents have consistently voted in favor of an extension of the lottery program. The lottery game falls under the Compact and must be conducted in line with the provision set forth.

The Tribal Gaming Office is also given the power to establish rules or procedures that would ensure the game's fairness, integrity, and security. Mega Millions, Powerball, The Pick are top-rated lottery games with incredible jackpots. In addition, players have the option of playing Pick 3, fantasy 5, or Triple Twist.

Bingo

Bingo or charitable bingo is another legal gambling product that operators with Class A, Class B, and Class C licenses. It is used for social and recreational purposes and raising funds for nonprofit organizations. There are special laws that guide how bingo games are conducted, and the Arizona Department of Revenue is responsible for making sure these laws are obeyed.

Horse Racing

Arizona residents enjoy the rich history of horse racing in the State. Bettors can place wagers on their favorite horses and dogs. The greyhounds were suspended in 2018 and are yet to resume. Pari-Mutuel betting on horses continues. Simulcasting is also welcomed; you can wager at bars, restaurants, essentially, Arizona’s Off-Track Betting centers.

ADG keeps the general public informed. The wagers at OTB centers are no different from those placed on the racino. Turf Paradise plays host to Harness racing and Quarter horses, while Arizona Downs are for thoroughbreds.

Legal Online Sportsbooks in Arizona

Now, sports betting has gone live in Arizona. We would recommend the best sportsbooks where bettors can test their prediction skills. These sites are legal, safe, and secure to place a bet on your favorite sport.

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM is an excellent operator with substantial bonus offers. The bookie is a result of the collaboration between MGM resorts international and Entain Holdings. Newbies get a risk-free bet offer. The free bet can be used for NBA, NFL, MLB, and other great sports.

The interface is world-class, with 24/7 customer support and many more.

TwinSpires Sportsbook

If you need a sportsbook with an incredible market reach, we would recommend you try TwinSpires.  They cover betting, horse racing, sports wagering, and many other sports. New account holders are welcome with a generous offer, to begin with.

Caesars Sportsbook

When a great sportsbook like Caesars opens its doors, it is best to take advantage of it. They have high regard for their customers. This puts them on track to become the best betting operator in AZ. The user interface is impressive. You can get the app to place bets on the go. With Caesars, you won’t miss any action.

WynnBet Sportsbook

WynnBet is no stranger to the gambling space. They have one of the best user-friendly platforms. Customer support is available round the clock. The market reach is impressive with competitive odds. Customer support is amazing but can be better.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings can be considered as one of the most popular sportsbooks in the US. Since sports betting has been approved in the State, it is one of the available sites where residents can enjoy online wagering. They have an extensive list of rewards. With DraftKings, you can be confident to have a fantastic time wagering on sports.

FanDuel Sportsbook

To Arizona residents, FanDuel could be new. However, they have a history of superb gambling services for more than a decade. The incredible array of sports available have competitive odds. They also offer newbies a generous welcome offer.

Unibet Sportsbook

Get the best from your sports betting adventure in Arizona here. Now that sports betting is legal, you can begin with the Unibet sportsbook. This online gambling site is known for its great welcome offers, odds, and reputable betting platform. In essence, this is an operator you should not miss out on.

FAQs

Is online gambling legal in Arizona?

The situation surrounding online gambling in Arizona is peculiar. In essence, the State is hanging between the balance, or it is a work in progress. However, online gambling is not prohibited, but its existence is in a legal grey area.  There are approved and regulated gambling products. Others are yet to be approved. Bettors can place a wager on sports, Keno, daily fantasies, or lottery games. But online casino games are left out.

When did online gambling become legal in Arizona?

The new law supporting online gambling was issued in September 2021. The law does not support real money online casinos. However, gambling has been going on in the state via tribal casinos. These tribal casinos have a Compact or license that dates from 1990 through to 2021.

As mentioned earlier, the latest addition to the law was in 2021. Beyond sports betting, other gambling products include Keno, daily fantasy sports, and mobile lottery draw games.

What forms of gambling are allowed in Arizona?

Legal gambling options in AZ include; land-based casinos, online casinos, poker, racing, lottery, sportsbooks, bingo, Daily fantasy sports, charitable gambling, and social gambling. Daily Fantasy Sports and sports betting were the recent addition to the list.

Who regulates online gambling in Arizona?

The gambling landscape in AZ is dynamic. The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) oversees online gambling in AZ. In addition, the ADG is tasked with issuing gaming licenses and keeping online casinos in business by ensuring ideal business models are in place.  Also, players would have the right tools to manage their gaming practices.

What is the legal gambling age in Arizona?

Currently, the legal gambling age in Arizona has been raised from 18 to 21, following the recent law passed by the Arizona state legislature. There have been some mixed feelings in the gaming space about this law, but it stands.  A lot of casinos are disappointed because it would reduce the total profit generated annually.

Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 10/19/2021