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Arizona Sports Betting Bill Has House Support, But Can't Get Out Of Senate Committee

Senate Committee Didn't Have A Scheduled Hearing On The Legislation A Day After House Committee Passed An Identical Bill 9-1

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Arizona’s bill that would legalize online and retail sports betting hit a snag as a Senate committee failed to pass the proposed legislation Wednesday.

The Senate Committee on Commerce failed to advance the bill just a day after its identical companion bill passed a House committee by a 9-1 margin, according to a report from The Action Network.

The bill would allow for betting on professional and collegiate athletic events at the state’s tribal casinos and another 10 venues such as horse tracks and home arenas to professional sports franchises. Sportsbooks would be eligible to be built at Talking Stick Resort Arena, Gila River Arena, Chase Field and State Farm Stadium, which are home to the four major sports franchises based in Arizona. It would also legalize daily fantasy sports.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has been an outspoken supporter of legal sports betting and sign the bill if it got to his desk. Ducey’s lawyer, Anni Foster was at the House hearing of the bill. Foster said that passing it is necessary to legalize gambling taking place off the tribal reservations, which is likely going to be allowed as part of a new gaming compact that is still being negotiated, but agreed on in principle, according to reports.

A lobbyist representing major online sportsbooks said at the same hearing that she estimates the state would reap $42 million in annual tax revenue if the bill is passed.

With overwhelming support of the bill in the lower chamber, it seems likely that Arizona is a prime candidate to become one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2021 if the Senate can come to an agreement on the legislation.