Will Arizona legalize online gambling in 2020?

Experience AZ | 17 Jun |

It’s fair to say Arizona is a super-exciting place when it comes to gambling. Considering the state’s proximity to Nevada, it is by no means surprising to know that gambling is one of the Arizonans’ most favorite pastimes. Nevertheless, if we move on to talk about the laws, things suddenly become tricky and much more complicated.

Online gambling is still out

In theory, the state has strict laws that have not changed at all since the 1900s in terms of gambling. The Grand Canyon State has always intended to allow its residents to gamble because that’s what most Arizonans would have done anyway. The permissions have always been, however, limited to land-based casinos exclusively. Despite several strong attempts of legalizing online gambling, especially in early 2019 and 2020, Arizona’s gambling laws do not address online gambling. Residents have no state-sanctioned or regulated online casinos inside state lines to play.

In short, online gambling is still illegal under state law and the players will have to wait to get in a position to enjoy playing online blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, and sports betting (among other forms) legally from the comfort of their homes. The reality is somewhat different given everything mentioned above up for grabs for the bettors who can use off-shore online casinos to spin the reels or hit the blackjack tables.

Native American-run casinos

While the situation with online gambling is shady, the Arizonans are actually spoilt for choice when it comes to physical casino possibilities. Slots, poker, and all kinds of different table games are within easy reach across one of 24 casinos run by Native Americans (the state has more Native American land than any other US territory). The future of online gambling may well be in hands of such casinos whose efforts of moving the businesses online have the potential of encouraging lawmakers to react.

Sports betting bills

We’ve witnessed two attempts of introducing sports betting to the state in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Although this year’s push as somewhat stronger with two bills (one from Senate, the other from the House), neither has been taken into consideration yet. Based on this experience, we have reasons to stay pessimistic in regards to the online gambling legalization in the years to come.

Social gambling is permitted

For now, what the Arizonans can do is social gambling. It is the form of gambling where bettors compete with each other on completely equal terms, without any sort of house edge or rake. The benefit of such gambling has to be exclusively limited to money wagered. 

Conclusion

To sum it all up, you can place any type of wager you wish as long as you are physically in the state, at brick and mortar casinos owned by Native Americans. Unfortunately, not even a single form of online gambling is permitted. The fans of casino games, sports betting, poker, and lottery are all in the same situation. While many other states made moves to react and adapt to the changes to the federal laws in terms of online gambling, based on everything written above we sincerely doubt Arizona will do so in the near future.

We can regard it as a sad scenario knowing Arizonans have the luxury of accessing more land-based casinos than most other states in the country. There are no adjustments to the legislation even on a horizon for now. If there were to be any, the Compacts would most likely allow only Native-American run casinos to host online services. We’ll keep tracking the situation and inform you as soon as we get any signs of improvements on the matter.

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