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Arizona Department of Gaming Lays Out Sports Betting Blueprint

Christopher Boan for Bookies.com

Christopher Boan  | 4 mins

Arizona Department of Gaming Lays Out Sports Betting Blueprint

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It’s full steam ahead for the rollout of Arizona sports betting, with the licensing deadline fast approaching for operators.

Retail and mobile sportsbooks should receive approval on Friday from the Arizona Department of Gaming to begin account creation and patron funding accounts on Saturday, Event Wagering & Fantasy Sports Contest Administrator Harold “Hal” Wafer said during a call with operators on Wednesday.

Early registration efforts for sportsbooks can begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, ahead of the Sept. 9 start date. That date coincides with the beginning of the NFL season and NFL betting.

Wafer told the virtual crowd of operators that the department’s sportsbook approval process would be ongoing well past the Friday deadline, with personnel reviewing their applications for several weeks, ensuring documentation and materials have been received.

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Daily fantasy sports operators will learn no later than 4 p.m. Friday if they are approved and can launch on Saturday.

“With the [fantasy sports license] allocation, you will receive confirmation through someone in the department, other than myself,” Wafer said. “Also, retail sportsbooks will also find out about their licensing separate from me. But you will know and will be contacted about that.”

FanDuel Sportsbook this week was the first to say it had received ADG approval, with Penn National Gaming and Barstool also confirming it had been approved.

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Focus on Self-Exclusion

Wafer and Problem Gaming Treatment Administrator Jay Herycyk also laid out a tentative self-exclusion blueprint once sports betting launches.

Self-exclusion is a process where a person can request to be banned from all casinos in the state and barred from collecting winnings and recovering losses at a facility.

Both Wafer and Herycyk laid out the steps operators must take to update their self-exclusion lists and ensure that problem gamblers do not enter the state’s brick-and-mortar and sports betting apps.

“We’re not expecting a lot of people, right off the bat, to be self-excluded. I don’t think the list will be very long,” Herycyk said. “Initially, the after the platform rolls out, it'll be just posted on the platform in both Excel and PDF form, but you also have access to be able to pull the list and look through it.”

The initial plan for the department is to update its self-exclusion list on as close to a daily basis as feasible, Herycyk said, ensuring the safety of problem gamblers in the state.

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Looking Forward

Wafer said that the department’s licensing team doesn’t see any issues that will prevent it from issuing permits Friday.

He also advised anyone that hasn’t received approval by then to double-check their application material to ensure that everything is in order.

Wafer also advised the sportsbook operators that there would be a final call set for 9:30 a.m. Arizona time next Wednesday.

The meeting is slated to cover steps that operators will need to take to ensure retail sportsbook approval, such as having full vetting by the department’s staff of the facility, in addition to other topics.

Wafer said next week’s meeting will largely revolve around answering any lingering questions that prospective operators have about the licensing process, in addition to discussing retail inspections and other items pertaining to the checklist that operators must complete to get full approval from the department.

“It's an ongoing process, with all your materials and documentation,” Wafer said. “So, you know you want all those nice check marks checked off and be ready to go.”

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About the Author

Christopher Boan for Bookies.com
Christopher Boan
Christopher Boan has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, with stops at ArizonaSports.com, Tucson Weekly and Green Valley News.