Arizona is one of just 28 states that have yet to legalize the sports betting industry in the United States. It appeared that the state was on the brink of making this landmark decision earlier this year, but talks have now been tabled until 2021.
Senate Bill 1525 was introduced earlier this year, and it would have given Native American tribes exclusive rights to the sports betting industry. That bill failed to make it out of committee, but lawmakers quickly put together another bill.
House Bill 2813 was introduced in March, and it would have allowed both commercial and tribal casinos to offer sports betting. That bill did make it out of committee, and it was gaining plenty of traction prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the United States.
Lawmakers were hoping to discuss the issue further at some point in 2020, but they have had other bills taking up most of their time. A decision was finally made to table the bill until 2021, leaving Arizona without sports betting of any kind.
Navajo Nation A Huge Force
The state has a tribal gaming compact with 16 of the 22 Native American tribes in the state, and this compact could easily be amended to include sports betting. The biggest problem facing the state is the Navajo Tribe, which currently does not have a compact signed.
The Navajo Tribe is the biggest in Arizona, and that tribe will want a piece of the sports betting action. Lawmakers are hoping to get the tribe’s support