Is Sports Betting Legal in Arizona?

With so many sports teams, both professional and collegiate, peppered through the arid state of Arizona, it's impossible not to find some valuable betting opportunities. In many ways, actually, Arizona's sports gambling scene is far more expansive than other places. You don't only have a bunch of casino, professional and collegiate options, but high school sports dominate the scene as well. With so many events taking place across various leagues, the sports gambler in you is set.

Arizona Sports Betting Law

If there is one word the properly describes sportbetting laws in Arizona, it's contradictive. Residents enjoy many opportunities to get their gambling fix, but there are certain restrictions in place that collide with other similar things that are, for some reason, deemed legal. Need further clarification? You're not alone. And you've come to the right place.

Casino Betting: Yes to Tribal, No to commercial, Maybe to Online Establishments

This is a perfect example of the contradictive nature attached to Arizona's gambling laws. Citizens are able to enjoy the full casino experience, from table games and slots, to video poker and everything in between—but only if said establishments are tribal-owned.

Despite housing over 20 casinos, Arizona doesn't have a commercially operated one in the gaggle. That's explicitly prohibited. Make no mistake: This isn't unique. Other states follow the same guidelines. But you'd expect Arizona to be more lenient, as the state of New York has become, when there are so many general options available overall.

Meanwhile, there's nothing denouncing or endorsing online casinos. That's where things get iffy. The absence of specific guidelines bodes well for you if you want to bet on games at a sportsbook or play virtual roulette. Just know that doing so carries some level of risk, since no stance one way or the other is official.

Daily Fantasy Betting is A-OK

The weirdness continues.

Though there are no official policies on the docket for online casinos, daily fantasy betting at places like Draft Kings and FanDuel are totally fine. But, because nothing is very clear in Arizona, don't take this to mean all internet gambling is cool.

Fantasy sports aren't considered a form of gambling by the state of Arizona. You're wagering money, but to them, you're not actually partaking in clear-cut betting. State legislature considers fantasy sportsbetting closer to social gambling.

Get Your Social-Gambling Hat On

Speaking of social gambling, Arizona has no qualms about you hosting low-key events at your home among friends. So go ahead and make that football pool. Assemble that fantasy basketball league. Have that weekly poker game. You're fine.

Just make sure you're not running a sizable poker or booky operation out of your basement or anything along those lines. That would be extremely illegal.

Yes, There Is a State Lottery

Looking to play PowerBall lottery while living in Arizona? That's no problem. Ditto for participating in charity-gambling and bingo events. At the same time, however, obtaining the licenses necessary for bingo and other types of charitable gambling can be a headache. So if you're going to run such an event, make sure to get the licensing process underway well in advance, lest you run into 11th-hour obstacles you just can't surmount.

Arizona Gambling Law Overview

Please see below for a more specific breakdown of what betting types are and aren't allowed in Arizona at this time.

  • Casino Gambling: Not legal (except for Tribal)
  • Tribal Gambling: Legal
  • Poker: Not specified
  • Horse-Race Betting: Legal
  • Dog-Race Betting: Legal
  • Lottery: Legal
  • Daily Fantasy Betting: Legal
  • Social Gambling: Legal
  • Charitable Gambling: Legal
  • Online Gambling: Legal (judging by lack of specification to the contrary)

Arizona Sports Teams

Arizona Cardinals (NFL)

The Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League are perhaps this state's most popular team. Their brand has exponentially grown over the past decade, during which time they've made four playoff appearances, including one Super Bowl cameo that resulted in a loss. The franchise, in fact, is still looking for its first championship under the Arizona Cardinals monicker. 

Phoenix Suns (NBA)

At one point, the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association would be contending with the Cardinals for the most beloved team in Arizona. Alas, ever since the Mike D'Antoni-coached, Steve Nash-led seven-seconds-or-less era faded out, the Suns have taken a backseat to the Cardinals as they aim for a return to the playoffs—which they haven't sniffed since 2010.

Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Compared to the Cardinals and Suns, Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks are babies. The franchise has only been around since 1998. And yet, despite its short lifespan, the Diamondbacks are the only one among these three to win their league's respective championship. They hoisted the World Series trophy back in 2001—less than a half-decade into their existence.

Granted, the Diamondbacks haven't been back to the MLB playoffs since 2011, and they haven't won a postseason series since 2007. Still, they have that championship—something both the Cardinals and Suns continue to chase.

Arizona's Biggest Sporting Event

Unless Arizona is hosting the NFL's Super Bowl, Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo is where it's at. Considered to be the world's oldest rodeo, as it was established back in 1888, the biggest competitions at this venue-event hybrid typically take place during the month of July, at which time the entire surrounding area becomes something of an oasis for the United States' cowboys, both authentic and wannabe amateurs.