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First operators go live in Arizona sports betting market

10th September 2021 10:06 am GMT
OpenBet

Arizona has become the latest US state to launch a regulated sports betting market, with a number of leading sportsbook operators going live in the Grand Canyon State Thursday.

The launch follows license approvals granted by the Arizona Department of Gaming in August, allocating 18 of the state’s 20 sports betting licenses to sporting organisations and Native American Tribes.

This has allowed leading operators such as BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, Kindred Group’s Unibet and Caesars to go live.

Kindred Group

Kindred has rolled outs its Unibet brand in its sixth US state with the Arizona launch, initially launching a mobile sportsbook to be followed by a retail sportsbook in partnership with Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation.

In addition to Arizona being Unibet’s sixth US state, it is also the company’s first step toward the West Coast.

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded one of the ten tribal licenses available in the state of Arizona,” said Kindred US senior vice president Manuel Stan. “This means Unibet is able to be in the first wave of operators launching in the first day when the market opens, which aligns perfectly with the start of the football season.

“Arizona’s passion for sports is unmatched, and through our great partnership with the Quechan Tribe, we’re excited to first provide a mobile sportsbook experience for sports fans of all levels with retail to follow. The partnership is one we look forward to building on longterm, with the opportunity to expand into California when the market regulates.”

Quechan president Jordan Joaquin added:“The Quechan Tribe is looking forward to having a great partnership with Kindred Group. With mobile and retail sportsbook in Arizona, we look forward to bringing additional economic development opportunities and benefits to the Tribe. The additional revenues will serve our members for vital programs for our community.”

DraftKings

The Arizona launch marks the 14th state in which DraftKings has rolled out its mobile sportsbook, and follows the launch of the operator’s daily fantasy product in the state last month. Earlier this year DraftKings announced plans for a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale as part of an expanded agreement with the PGA TOUR.

“With the launch of our digital sportsbook coinciding with NFL kickoff, the busiest and most exciting time of the year for our company, we could not have imagined a better time to introduce Arizona’s sports fans to the DraftKings experience,” said DraftKings North America co-founder and president Matt Kalish.

“We would also like to thank the PGA TOUR, TPC Scottsdale, as well as Governor Doug Ducey and his team, Representative Jeff Weninger, Senator T.J. Shope, the Arizona state legislature, and the Arizona Department of Gaming for working together to further fan engagement across sports. We look forward to becoming the sportsbook of choice for Arizonans across the state.”

PGA TOUR senior vice president of media and gaming, Norb Gambuzza, commented: “The PGA TOUR is excited for the launch of mobile sports betting in Arizona as a major step forward as we look to advance audience development and fan engagement opportunities.

“We are diligently working with DraftKings, the City of Scottsdale, The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open on plans for a world-class sportsbook experience at TPC Scottsdale. We look forward to being able to share the plans in the near future.”

BetMGM

BetMGM’s launch in Arizona marks the 15th market in which BetMGM’s mobile sportsbook has gone live.

“We’re pleased to officially bring BetMGM’s mobile sports betting offering to fans in Arizona in time for football season,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “We’ve built strategic partnerships with Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals, two key players in the state, enabling us to create one-of-a-kind experiences for our Arizona customers.”

Gila River’s three Arizona locations - Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva - will feature BetMGM Sportsbooks later this year.

BetMGM also plans to open a first of its kind BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium, home of the Cardinals, in time for the 2022 football season.

Caesars Entertainment

The temporary Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, saw the ceremonial first bets placed for charity Thursday at an event attended by actor-comedian JB Smoove, who stars as 'Caesar' in the operator’s nationwide advertising campaign. The event was also attended by Caesars Sportsbook chief trends officer and brand ambassador Trey Wingo, Arizona Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez and CEO and president Derrick Hall, along with state dignitaries, including Governor Doug Ducey.

“Today's event was a culmination of what we've been excited about for quite some time, bringing legal sports betting to the great sports fans in Arizona,” said Caesars Digital co-president Chris Holdren. “Arizona is like a second home for Caesars, and we've operated in the state for more than 25 years. We take pride in our brand-new Caesars Sportsbook app being online for day one of sports betting here and we're ecstatic to offer Arizonans a sports betting experience that can't be matched.”

Caesars' partnership with the D-backs includes plans to build a two-story sportsbook and sports bar at Chase Field, which is set to open in early 2022. In the interim, sports fans can continue to place in-person bets at five walk-up betting kiosks that will be installed on the north side of the plaza, as well as online via the Caesars Sportsbook app.

FanDuel

FanDuel partnered the Phoenix Suns to launch its online sportsbook in Arizona, with ceremonial first bets placed by Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Suns alum Channing Frye, and NBA veteran Richard Jefferson.

The operator will also welcome Arizona sports fans to its new retail FanDuel Sportsbook lounge located inside the Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns and the first to located inside an NBA arena. Arizona marks the 11th state where FanDuel offers mobile sports betting.

“The fans of Arizona are some of the most passionate in sports, and that was evident during the Suns incredible playoff run this year,” said FanDuel Group chief marketing officer Mike Raffensperger. “Together FanDuel and the Suns share a mission of delivering absurdly fan-friendly experiences to our customers and we are excited to offer sports betting in a way that revolutionizes the live experience and brings fans closer to the game.

“We are thankful to the Suns organization for their partnership and look forward to making our lounge in the Footprint Center one of the preeminent sportsbook locations in the entire country.”

Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley added: “Today is a defining moment for our organization, fans, and the entire State of Arizona. We’re excited to partner with an innovative leader like FanDuel to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to Footprint Center along with a multitude of new experiences to all sports fans.

“We’re committed to continuing to elevate the gameday experience and engaging fans at the highest level possible, and these new amenities are the latest example of our mission.”

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