Arizona and Kansas are two more states on their way to legalizing sports betting. Both have hearings on wagering measures scheduled for this week.
Arizona is enjoying support from Gov. Doug Ducey, the LEgislature, the professional sports leagues and the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes.
The complementary bill that the Arizona House and Senate will take up will allow 10 online and retail sports licenses for the state’s Native American tribes.
The bill includes 10 more additional sportsbook licenses for other venues like horse tracks.
The House and the Senate will conduct their hearings in two consecutive days. If the bill survives through these, it will allow other professional sports facilities, such as motorsports venues and golf venues to open retail sportsbooks, as well.
This means potential sportsbooks at the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns, NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. TPC Scottsdale, which last week hosted the PGA Tour’s annual Phoenix Open, would also be able to open an in-venue sportsbook, as would the Phoenix Raceway.
This would make Arizona the third jurisdiction to approve in-stadium sportsbooks, following Washington D.C. and Illinois.
Later, there will be discussions about the potential legalization of daily fantasy sports since Arizona is one of the very few remaining states where top operators DraftKings and FanDuel are not allowed to operate.
The sports betting and daily fantasy discussions are only a part of a larger negotiations with the state’s gaming tribes and their compacts with the state that give them exclusive gambling rights in exchange for a portion of their revenues.
The tribes and the government seem optimistic that their future agreement will allow more gaming options at Native American casinos on top of sports betting.
Aside from the many similarities, there are certain differences between the two states’ legalization programs.
The Kansas bill will allow as many as 12 online sports betting licenses for commercial casinos, as well as expanded retail options for Native American tribes and the state’s biggest motorsports venue.
As part of a proposal spearheaded by the state Senate, the four commercial casinos in Kansas will be allowed to partner with as many as three online wagering operators.
The sports betting bill has significant support from Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican-led Legislature but this might not be enough since there are many more things to consider. Some of the key details include tax rates and license eligibility.
There are also concerns about regulatory authority between the state Lottery, which oversees the casinos and the Kansas Racing and Gambling Commission.
Kansas officials seem very motivated to vote in favor of the proposed legalization due to rising healthcare costs and dwindling tax revenues.
In the meantime, both states are motivated by the fact that other states are considering legalization of sports betting.
Source: “Arizona, Kansas Sports Betting Hearings Set This Week”, Action Network, February 8, 2021
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