Arizona

Sports Betting in Arizona

Arizona is a neighbor to US gambling mecca Nevada though it has a decidedly different regulatory environment. First, the good news—you have a decent number of gambling options in the Grand Canyon State. Now, the bad news—the regulations are a strange mishmash of contradictions and limitations clearly cut out at the behest of ‘special interests’.

At one point, Arizona had very little in the way of gambling options for its citizens. The state has a lottery, established in 1980 that offers state residents access to the major ‘pooled jackpot’ games like MegaMillions and Powerball. Parimutuel horse racing has been available since the 1940s under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Racing. The primary horse track in the state is the Turf Paradise race course just outside of Phoenix though there are several smaller tracks. For decades, parimutuel wagering was one of the few gambling outlets available in the state.

That all changed in 1988 with the passing of the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’. This allowed the individual tribes to regulate casino gambling on their own land. Initially, Arizona’s governor’s office wasn’t the least bit happy about this and challenged the rights of the tribes to offer certain games like slot machines. After five years of acrimony and uncertainty, the state signed ‘compacts’ with 21 of the 22 Native American tribes in the state. This allowed the tribes to exercise their own sovereignty as intended by the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ and allowed the explosion of the casino industry that continues to this day.

Native American casino has allowed Arizona residents a number of gaming options unavailable to citizens in many states. Table games are offered at most of the state’s casinos including Blackjack (21) starting with a $5 per hand minimum up to $1000 per hand. The prevailing rules in the state offer 3 to 2 blackjack, 2 to 1 insurance and the dealer must hit on soft 17. Newer types of table games are also available including ‘Let It Ride’, ‘Pai Gow Poker’, ‘Casino War’ and several poker based games including ‘World Poker Tour’, ‘High Card Flush’ and ‘3-Card Stud Poker’. Live Keno is also offered by most Arizona Native American casinos. Other games such as live poker, live bingo and roulette are available at some properties.

There’s also plenty of slots action in Arizona. With 19 licensed casinos that each have hundreds—in some cases thousands—of slot machines there’s an abundance of gameplay options. The newest slot titles from all of the major manufacturers that you’d expect to see in a Las Vegas casino are here with games in a variety of denominations and plenty of big payout progressives. Video poker is available—most casinos devote much more floor space to the slots but you can find dozens of different games at the largest properties. In addition, you’ll find video blackjack, video roulette, video craps and more.

Unfortunately, there are some gambling offerings that are explicitly off limits to Arizona residents. Fantasy sports has been specifically outlawed by the state and there is yet no legal framework for the licensed gaming properties in Arizona to offer online poker or casino gambling. There has been some discussion about allowing the state’s Native American gaming facilities to offer sports betting but that would likely require a revision of the ‘compact’ between the state and the individual tribes.

Sports Betting in Mesa

Mesa, Arizona began life as a ‘bedroom community’ for nearby Phoenix. As Southern Arizona continued to grow, however, it became a large population base unto itself. It’s now the third largest city in Arizona with a population of more than 450,000 and ranks as the thirty-eighth largest city in the United States. It’s even slightly larger than Atlanta, Georgia though much of the area’s population lives outside of the city limits making the Atlanta Metro area massive. Since Mesa is just 20 miles East of Phoenix they have essentially the same gaming options.

For many years, the gambling starved population of the Phoenix, Arizona metro area which includes Mesa was the lifeblood of Laughlin, Nevada. It wasn’t long ago that the only serious gambling options available to Phoenix residents was to head over the border to Nevada. Arizona has a lottery, established in 1980 that offers state residents access to the major ‘pooled jackpot’ games like MegaMillions and Powerball. Parimutuel horse racing has been available since the 1940s under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Racing. The primary horse track in the state is the Turf Paradise race course just outside of Phoenix though there are several smaller tracks.

There’s now plenty of gambling options in Arizona but heading to Nevada remains a pretty good option—Phoenix is just over three hours from Laughlin, Nevada and right around five hours away from Las Vegas. There are also dozens of nonstop and connecting flights from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport to Las Vegas’s McCarren International Airport with ticket prices well under $200 round trip. Arizona’s gambling boom hasn’t been kind to Laughlin though the town’s nine or ten casinos still receive a few million visitors per year.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 changed everything for Arizona gamblers. This allowed the individual tribes to regulate casino gambling on their own land. Initially, Arizona’s governor’s office wasn’t the least bit happy about this and challenged the rights of the tribes to offer certain games like slot machines. After five years of acrimony and uncertainty, the state signed ‘compacts’ with 21 of the 22 Native American tribes in the state. This allowed the tribes to exercise their own sovereignty as intended by the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ and allowed the explosion of the casino industry that continues to this day.

The Phoenix Metro Area now has a nice variety of casino gambling options. In Maricopa County there are seven casinos including the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, the Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino, Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort, Lone Butte Casino, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and the Fort McDowell Casino. Overall, there are 19 licensed casinos that each have hundreds—in some cases thousands—of slot machines there’s an abundance of gameplay options. The newest slot titles from all of the major manufacturers that you’d expect to see in a Las Vegas casino are here with games in a variety of denominations and plenty of big payout progressives. Video poker is available—most casinos devote much more floor space to the slots but you can find dozens of different games at the largest properties. In addition, you’ll find video blackjack, video roulette, video craps and more. Many properties also offer table games and live poker.

Unfortunately, there are some gambling offerings that are explicitly off limits to Arizona residents. Fantasy sports has been specifically outlawed by the state and there is yet no legal framework for the licensed gaming properties in Arizona to offer online poker or casino gambling. There has been some discussion about allowing the state’s Native American gaming facilities to offer sports betting but that would likely require a revision of the ‘compact’ between the state and the individual tribes. The tribes have been dead set about maintaining the state’s ban on fantasy sports—some tribal properties even have pages making the case against it on their websites. Assuming that the state’s Native American gaming properties are ‘juiced in’ to sports betting that might be an easier case to make.

Sports Betting in Phoenix

For many years, the gambling starved population of Phoenix, Arizona was the lifeblood of the tiny Colorado River gambling town of Laughlin, Nevada. It wasn’t long ago that the only serious gambling options available to Phoenix residents was to head over the border to Nevada. That’s still not a bad option—Phoenix is just over three hours from Laughlin, Nevada and right around five hours away from Las Vegas. There are also dozens of nonstop and connecting flights from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport to Las Vegas’s McCarren International Airport with ticket prices well under $200 round trip.

Before the late 1980’s there wasn’t much gambling at all in Arizona. The state has a lottery, established in 1980 that offers state residents access to the major ‘pooled jackpot’ games like MegaMillions and Powerball. Parimutuel horse racing has been available since the 1940s under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Racing. The primary horse track in the state is the Turf Paradise race course just outside of Phoenix though there are several smaller tracks.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 changed everything for Arizona gamblers. This allowed the individual tribes to regulate casino gambling on their own land. Initially, Arizona’s governor’s office wasn’t the least bit happy about this and challenged the rights of the tribes to offer certain games like slot machines. After five years of acrimony and uncertainty, the state signed ‘compacts’ with 21 of the 22 Native American tribes in the state. This allowed the tribes to exercise their own sovereignty as intended by the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ and allowed the explosion of the casino industry that continues to this day.

Phoenix now has a nice variety of casino gambling options. In Maricopa County there are seven casinos including the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, the Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino, Casino Arizona, Lone Butte Casino, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and the Fort McDowell Casino. Overall, there are 19 licensed casinos that each have hundreds—in some cases thousands—of slot machines there’s an abundance of gameplay options. The newest slot titles from all of the major manufacturers that you’d expect to see in a Las Vegas casino are here with games in a variety of denominations and plenty of big payout progressives. Video poker is available—most casinos devote much more floor space to the slots but you can find dozens of different games at the largest properties. In addition, you’ll find video blackjack, video roulette, video craps and more. Many properties also offer table games and live poker.

Unfortunately, there are some gambling offerings that are explicitly off limits to Arizona residents. Fantasy sports has been specifically outlawed by the state and there is yet no legal framework for the licensed gaming properties in Arizona to offer online poker or casino gambling. There has been some discussion about allowing the state’s Native American gaming facilities to offer sports betting but that would likely require a revision of the ‘compact’ between the state and the individual tribes. The tribes have been dead set about maintaining the state’s ban on fantasy sports—some tribal properties even have pages making the case against it on their websites. Assuming that the state’s Native American gaming properties are ‘juiced in’ to sports betting that might be an easier case to make.

Sports Betting in Tucson

It wasn’t long ago that the only gambling options available to Tucson residents was to head to Nevada. That’s still not a bad option—Tucson is five hours South of Laughlin, Nevada and six and a half hours South of Las Vegas. Things have improved dramatically for Arizona gamblers but although it is a neighbor to Nevada the state has a dramatically different regulatory environment. First, the good news—you have a decent number of gambling options in the Grand Canyon State particularly around the major cities like Phoenix and Tucson. Now, the bad news—the regulations are a bizarre combination of contradictory and restrictive nonsense clearly cut out at the behest of ‘special interests’.

Before 1988 and the passing of the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ there wasn’t much gambling at all in Arizona. The state has a lottery, established in 1980 that offers state residents access to the major ‘pooled jackpot’ games like MegaMillions and Powerball. Parimutuel horse racing has been available since the 1940s under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Racing. The primary horse track in the state is the Turf Paradise race course just outside of Phoenix though there are several smaller tracks. Of particular note in the Tucson area is the Rillito Park Racetrack which will run its 76th season of horse racing in early 2019. The facility offers a mix of quarter horse and thoroughbred action and has the distinction of being the first quarter horse track in the world.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act changed everything for Arizona gamblers. This allowed the individual tribes to regulate casino gambling on their own land. Initially, Arizona’s governor’s office wasn’t the least bit happy about this and challenged the rights of the tribes to offer certain games like slot machines. After five years of acrimony and uncertainty, the state signed ‘compacts’ with 21 of the 22 Native American tribes in the state. This allowed the tribes to exercise their own sovereignty as intended by the ‘Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’ and allowed the explosion of the casino industry that continues to this day.

In Tucson, there are three casinos—Casino del Sol and the smaller sister property Casino of the Sun along with the Desert Diamond Hotel and Casino’s locations in Tucson and Sahuarita. These properties offer a mix of slots, video poker, bingo and table games. The Casino del Sol offers live poker. Phoenix is just an hour and 42 minutes away and there are seven casinos in Maricopa County.

Overall, there are 19 licensed casinos that each have hundreds—in some cases thousands—of slot machines there’s an abundance of gameplay options. The newest slot titles from all of the major manufacturers that you’d expect to see in a Las Vegas casino are here with games in a variety of denominations and plenty of big payout progressives. Video poker is available—most casinos devote much more floor space to the slots but you can find dozens of different games at the largest properties. In addition, you’ll find video blackjack, video roulette, video craps and more. Many properties also offer table games and live poker.

Unfortunately, there are some gambling offerings that are explicitly off limits to Arizona residents. Fantasy sports has been specifically outlawed by the state and there is yet no legal framework for the licensed gaming properties in Arizona to offer online poker or casino gambling. There has been some discussion about allowing the state’s Native American gaming facilities to offer sports betting but that would likely require a revision of the ‘compact’ between the state and the individual tribes.

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