Despite lots of questions, sports-betting bill advances in Arizona Senate

By Ryan Randazz| Arizona Republic

A sports-betting bill that would allow pro teams to run sportsbooks in Arizona as well as open the door to expanded tribal casinos in metro Phoenix advanced Wednesday night through the state Senate.

The bill would allow the state to issue 10 sportsbook licenses to professional sports teams in the state, something the state’s tribes with casinos have historically opposed.

But in exchange for their support on the bill, Gov. Doug Ducey has negotiated amendments to the state gaming compacts that would allow the tribes to offer not only new table games at casinos but to open an unspecified number of new casinos, including in metro Phoenix.

The companion bill passed a state House of Representatives committee last week on 9-1 vote, but the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday was divided 6-3 on its passage.

Arizona lawmakers react to bill

Lawmakers had a variety of questions, including what exactly Ducey has negotiated in exchange for support from several tribes. During Wednesday’s testimony, a lawyer for Ducey said that just nine of the 90 state lawmakers have been given the details of what the governor has agreed to in the amended tribal gaming compacts.

Note: Rose Law Group represents the PGA.

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