What are the laws on gambling in Arizona?

Experience AZ | 9 Jul |

Different U.S. states often have wildly different laws on gambling, and the state of Arizona is no exception. Since the passing of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 by Congress, Arizona has housed a number of land-based casinos and gambling institutions that are regulated. In total, there are 25 casinos open legally in the state.

The History of Gambling in Arizona

The history of gambling in Arizona is more eventful than that of many other states. The Indian Regulatory Gaming Act of 1988 allowed Native American tribes to operate casinos on reservation lands provided they negotiated agreements with their state governments.

In the early 1990s, many of the tribes in Arizona were operating casinos without the blessing of the state, leading to the FBI raiding these casinos and seizing their assets. In one case, this even led to an armed standoff! In 1992, the Fort McDowell Casino, operated by Yavapai Indians, was targeted by the FBI. The tribe blocked the entrance with vehicles and machinery in an attempt to defend the casino, leading to an eight hour-long standoff!

This incident became widely publicized and brought public sympathy to the tribe’s cause, resulting in the state governor negotiating agreements with all but one of the twenty-two Native American tribes in the state.

List of Casinos in Arizona

As a result of the agreements negotiated with the tribes, twenty-six casinos are currently available in the state for citizens to legally visit and use the services of, such as the famous Casino Del Sol, Fort McDowell, and the Desert Diamond Casino in the West Valley. This list of casinos details all of the options available.

Online Gambling in Arizona

At the time of writing, all forms of gambling are illegal in Arizona unless otherwise exempted in statute. This includes the forms of Class III gaming (casino style games) that are not explicitly authorized in the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. Online gambling in any form is not exempted from statute or authorized in the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, making this type of wagering illegal in the state. Although there are no state-sanctioned online casinos within state lines, many citizens sign up for and play on sites based in other U.S. states or anywhere else in the world! Sites like Online Casino Australia are available to all residents of Arizona.

In addition, some of the casinos based in Arizona do offer free play options (through linking to other sites) on their websites. Arizona residents can also access the same mobile gaming apps as residents of any other state, and even play through social media sites like Facebook. Some of these apps even allow players to collect points that can be exchanged for coupons or even used in land-based casinos!

Gambling Support in Arizona

Although gambling at casinos (whether land-based or online) can be a very enjoyable pastime, it is worth remembering that gambling can be addictive. You should always gamble safely and responsibly: if you find yourself betting money that you cannot afford to lose, or your gambling is affecting your life in other ways, it may be time for you to stop.

Thankfully, there are many different resources available to help you with gambling problems in Arizona!

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