In a three-way deal, the Arizona Cardinals, Gila River Hotels and Casinos and New Jersey-based BetMGM have announced plans for four sportsbooks in the Phoenix area, including one at State Farm Stadium and three others at the tribe’s properties.
The announcement is the latest among several such deals as professional teams and Native American tribes line up partners to run their retail sportsbooks and mobile sports-betting programs.
Legislation passed earlier this year and signed by the governor allows for 10 sports-betting licenses available to teams, 10 to tribes and another 10 «limited» licenses for horse tracks and off-track betting sites that partner with one of the other licensees.
Gila River runs the Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva and Lone Butte Casinos near Chandler and south Phoenix, with plans for a fourth casino on its land eventually. The deal includes offering mobile sports betting through BetMGM.
The company is the sports-betting division for MGM Resorts International and is a partnership with Entain Holdings.
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“Arizona sports fans are extremely passionate and we’re confident they’ll enjoy the BetMGM experience,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a prepared statement. “Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals represent the state’s premier casino destinations and sports franchise, making them the ideal partners for us.”
The three sportsbooks at the casinos are scheduled to open near the start of football season, when sports betting is scheduled to begin statewide. The book at State Farm Stadium is not expected to be open until the 2022 season, according to the announcement.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to build upon our long-standing relationship with Gila River and launch a new one with BetMGM,» Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a prepared statement. «They are best-in-class partners whose excellence and expertise in this emerging space will provide a new and innovative way to engage and interact with our fans.”
Along with the legislation allowing sports betting, the state entered amended compacts with tribes that allow them to offer more slots, table games and to build additional casinos.
Those amended compacts also allow each tribe to operate a retail sportsbook at each casino, but they will need one of the 10 available licenses to run mobile sports betting available off the reservation, according to Arizona Department of Gaming spokesman Maxwell Hartgraves.
«All tribes will have the ability to operate a sportsbook within their tribal casino through the amended tribal-state gaming compacts,» Hartgraves said. «Additionally, an event wagering operator license will allow a tribe to accept mobile wagers off-reservation.»
The Department of Gaming must approve the licenses for mobile sports betting and off-reservation sportsbooks, and the application deadline closes Monday. The department intends to announce who was granted licenses on Aug. 16.
If nothing holds up the timeline, then license holders should be allowed on Aug. 28 to begin marketing and signing up customers, with the first bets being placed Sept. 9 to coincide with the first game of the National Football League season.
Other partnerships announced in Arizona include:
Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at email@example.com or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.
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