Arizona reaches for a piece of the action as sports betting begins
PHOENIX – The business of sports betting on colleges and pros went live in Arizona early Thursday, hours before the NFL season kicks off.
Ticket windows at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in downtown Phoenix run by Caesar’s Entertainment were ready for bettors at 7 a.m., while the FanDuel Sportsbook at nearby Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns, was set to open at 9:15 a.m.
Chase Field became the first MLB stadium to take in-person betting. The Diamondbacks plan to open their own sportsbook outside the stadium early next year.
Arizona joins more than half the states in allowing betting on sports, just three years after it was allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The state hopes to pull in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue from legalized gambling.
Chuck Miller of Anthem was the first to take advantage of the windows’ debut at the baseball stadium.
“I’m pretty excited,” the New Jersey native said. “I think it’s a good way for allowing sports betting into Arizona. It’ll help out the state as far as financial improvement.
“I love sports betting.”
State law allowed licenses for up to 10 professional sports teams and eight were awarded last month, and they and tribes can partner with sportsbooks. The team licenses allow retail and online betting.
In addition to the Suns and Diamondbacks, Arizona awarded licenses to the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, TPC Scottsdale and Phoenix Speedway.
Retail locations must be close to the playing sites, but permits have not been finalized for their locations, Gaming Department spokesman Max Hartgraves said Wednesday.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.