Throughout the U.S., it is becoming very clear that the nation’s sports bettors prefer betting online through mobile apps. In established states like Indiana and New Jersey, mobile sports betting accounts for more than 80% of the state’s sports betting handle. That number is consistent with the numbers being reported in each state that offers both retail and mobile sports betting access. Will that be the case in Arizona?

Is Mobile Sports Betting Legal In Arizona?

When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed bill HB 2772 in April of 2021, it did two things. First, it legalized sports betting for residents of the state. Second, it made clear that licensees would be permitted to offer both retail and mobile sports betting access. Yes, mobile sports betting is now legal in Arizona.

The only question remaining is how will Arizona sports bettors get access to sports betting mobile apps?

Sports Betting Licensees

Based on the terms stated in HB 2772, the Arizona Department of Gaming can approve up to 20 sports betting licenses. They will be allocating 10 licenses to Indian Tribes and the other 10 to the state’s pro sports franchises.

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA) will be responsible for selecting the Indian Tribes that can apply for licenses. The pro sports licensees will be the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL), Arizona Dbacks (MLB), Phoenix Speedway (NASCAR), Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), TPC Sawgrass Golf Complex (PGA), and the Phoenix Suns (NBA).

With a sports betting license, each licensee will be permitted to offer retail sports betting access through sportsbook locations. They will also get access to one mobile “skin.” It is fully expected that contracted sports betting operators will be responsible to provide both retail and mobile sports betting access.

Sports Betting Operators

The list of potential Arizona sports betting operators reads like the “Who’s Who” of the mobile sports betting industry. To date, some prospective licensees have already inked exclusive deals with a top U.S. bookmaker. That list includes the following mobile operators:

TPC Sawgrass – DraftKings
Gila River Indian Community – BetMGM
San Carlos Indian Tribe – WynnBet
Phoenix Mercury – Bally’s Corp
Phoenix Suns – Fanduel
Arizona DBacks – Caesars

That leaves a lot of open licenses yet to be inked. That also leaves a lot of top sports betting operators scrambling for an exclusive contract. That list includes the likes of PointsBet, BetRivers, William Hill, bet365, Twinspires, and 888 sport. It will be interesting to see which bookmakers make the cut. They all offer an excellent mobile app with a full slate of betting options.

When Mobile Sports Betting Will Start

Many Arizona sports bettors have been making the trek to Nevada for decades in order to legally bet on sports. Many other sports bettors have been betting illegally through offshore sportsbooks. One thing is for sure. They are collectively holding their breath to make that first legal sports bet from home.

By all indications, that date will be no later than Thursday, September 9, 2021. That’s the very first day of the NFL regular season. It’s also just in time for Arizona Cardinal fans to wager on their favorite team. The Cardinals season opener will be on September 12, 2021, as they play the Tennessee Titans in Tennessee.

By that time, mobile sports bettors should have access to at least a dozen different mobile apps. The right choice will most likely boil down to the mobile sports betting operator that offers the most lucrative welcome bonus for its new Arizona customers.