Cold streak for Arizona sports bettors in May leads to record state payout

Jul 24, 2022, 6:30 AM
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, right, and Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) scramble for...
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, right, and Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) scramble for a loose ball during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – Arizona bettors hit a cold streak in May, when the NBA playoffs were in full swing, leading to a record windfall for the state.

Arizona collected $4.1 million in fees from sportsbooks in May, the most in a month since event wagering became legal last year, gaming officials announced Friday.

The state gets paid an amount based on adjusted gross event wagering receipts, which is total handle minus payouts and promotional credits.

The rate of payouts fell in May — meaning gamblers were less successful — even though the action was also down, leaving a bigger pot subject to state fees.

The total handle for May was $461 million, down from April’s $513 million. But sportsbooks paid out only $405 million in May (about 88% of the bets) after paying out $482 million in April (94%).

When promotional credits were also accounted for, the adjusted gross event wagering receipts for May totaled $41.4 million. That was more than double the April amount of $16.5 million, which generated $1.64 million in privilege fees to the state.

“Since the start of legal event wagering, we have seen approximately $30 million in privilege and licensing fees contributed to the state,” Ted Vogt, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, said in a press release.

March, the busiest month since event wagering became legal in Arizona in September 2021, with a total handle of $691 million, generated $1.86 million in state fees.

Sportsbooks paid out $652 million in March, 94.5% of the bets placed.

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Cold streak for Arizona sports bettors in May leads to record state payout