Is sports betting legal in Arizona? Guide to legal & responsible gaming in AZ

Apr 18, 2024

Phoenix, Arizona is one of only a dozen U.S. cities that boasts a professional team in all four of the top sports leagues: NFL - Arizona Cardinals, NBA - Phoenix Suns, MLB - Arizona Diamondbacks, NHL - Arizona Coyotes (for now). Every year, the city hosts Cactus League MLB Spring Training, the PGA TOUR’s WM Phoenix Open and college football's Fiesta Bowl. Phoenix also recently hosted the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four for the second time. 

So with all of this top-tier sports action regularly taking place in the city and surrounding areas, many fans and bettors have asked: is sports betting allowed in Arizona? The short answer is yes. 

On April 15, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law making sports betting in Arizona legal. Later that year, on September 7, the Grand Canyon State officially launched legal sports betting with the debut of operational retail and online sportsbooks. Now, Arizona is one of 38 states, along with the District of Columbia, to allow legalized sports betting in some capacity. In 2023, the state experienced further growth in sports gambling, recording $6.5 billion in handle, an 8% increase from the year prior. 

Considering the range of popular sporting events that have already taken place in Arizona in 2024, plus the success of the University of Arizona men’s basketball team, the Diamondbacks’ 2023 National League pennant and the Suns’ “big three” hoping to lead the team to an NBA championship, we expect another increase in Arizona’s sports betting handle. 

Who is allowed to bet on sports in Arizona?

In Arizona, the legal sports betting age is 21 years old. So long as you are 21+, you may register and wager with any of the 18 authorized sports betting sites and apps in the Grand Canyon State. Ensuring you are located within state lines is crucial because border states California, New Mexico and Utah do not yet allow legal online sports betting. 

Even if you are 21+ and located in Arizona, you may not be eligible to legally bet on every market in Arizona. If you are an insider, such as a player, coach, staffer or official, you may not legally wager on your own sport. 

There are some other noteworthy restrictions as well. You cannot legally wager on high school sports. You can bet on college sports, but you cannot place college prop bets, including team and individual player props. Additionally, regulated Arizona sportsbooks do not offer markets associated with entertainment events like the Academy Awards or the Grammys. 

There are 17 locations with retail sportsbooks, mostly at sports venues like Chase Field, or tribal casinos such as Desert Diamond. The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) regulates all legal sportsbooks in the state, which means a governing body maintains a high standard of safety and security. 

How to bet responsibly in Arizona

Sports betting in a legal state like Arizona can sound fun and exciting, but there are significant risks to be aware of beforehand, including the possibility of developing a gambling addiction. It’s critical to hold yourself accountable with a set of rules and reminders to maintain a healthy relationship with sports betting if you are going to do it: 

  • Only bet what you can afford to lose: View sports betting as an entertainment expense. Sports are unpredictable in many ways, so even if you think you are an expert in a sport or event, be mindful of your bet size.

  • Walk away from - never chase - your losses: You must understand losing happens when you gamble on sports. Never chase losses by betting more in attempts to win them back. Chasing losses can lead to a dangerous spiral of unexpected significant further losses.

  • Set limits: Create a sports betting budget, also known as a “bankroll,” and don’t bet any more than it. You must be comfortable losing all of it without it impacting your financial wellbeing, such as your ability to pay bills. You can also det deposit and time/usage limits in many sports betting apps nowadays.

  • Establish a unit size: Whether it’s a $5 standard bet size or $20, it’s important to choose a unit size and stick to it. A good rule of thumb is making a standard bet size around 1-4% of your bankroll.

  • Do not gamble while consuming drugs or alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can impair your judgment and make it more difficult to stick to your standards and limits. 

Remember, it’s never too late to begin setting personal rules, standards and limits for sports betting. If you don’t, you are increasing the likelihood of a problem potentially developing. 

Gambling Addiction Help and Treatment in Arizona

As more and more states like Arizona flip legal and allow sports betting, more people are encountering the highs and lows of sports betting. Sadly, gambling addiction rates across the country are rising. The positive news is that there are resources available to combat it. Birches Health offers specialized treatment options for individuals in need from the comfort of home. Birches’ team of clinicians have decades of experience, and there are $0 out-of-pocket costs for many patients. 

If you believe you or someone you know could possibly benefit from the Birches Health offerings, please feel free to call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

Sources:

Arizona Sports Betting: Top 18 AZ Sportsbooks For 2024

Is Sports Betting Legal In Arizona?

Arizona Sportsbook Locations: List of Retail Sportsbooks in AZ

Arizona Sportsbooks: Betting Sites, Apps & AZ State Guide - FanNation | A part of the Sports Illustrated Network

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