Arizona to award new sports betting licenses. One team is ‘absolutely’ applying.

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Phoenix Rising Football Club.)

By Corina Vanek | Arizona Republic

More sports betting could soon come to Arizona, and one sports team is hoping the second time is the charm when applying for a betting license.

Phoenix Rising FC will “absolutely” apply for an event wagering license, after it was denied one when the licenses were first available in 2021.

“We have solved or corrected a few of the issues that we had with our first application,” Bill Kraus, club governor for Phoenix Rising, said.

The Arizona Department of Gaming announced it will award three new event wagering licenses, two for Arizona sports franchises and one for an Arizona tribe. The state has 20 total licenses, 10 for sports teams and 10 for tribes, and has awarded eight to teams.

A security guard stands in front of one of the betting windows on the second floor of the Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field in Phoenix on June 21, 2022.

Kraus said Phoenix Rising does not have a betting partner selected yet but will choose one for its sportsbook.

When the soccer team was first denied, Kraus said there was some discussion at the time whether the team qualified as playing “at the highest level” of the sport, which is a requirement in the law to get an event wagering license.

Kraus said the team now feels it meets the requirement, as it is the highest level of men’s soccer in Arizona, and the team has aspirations to become a Major League Soccer team. However, Kraus said he does not think the license should depend on the team becoming a major league team.

Phoenix Rising had also played at a stadium on the Gila River Indian Community, which also could have affected the team’s application for a license, Kraus said. Now, the team plays in central Phoenix.


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