Suns, D-backs look to get early start on in-person betting in Arizona

FanDuel opened the new FanDuel Sportsbook lounge located inside Suns' Footprint Center in downtown PhoenixFANDUEL

Legal sports betting goes live in Arizona today, and while "few full-fledged in-person sportsbooks will open soon, with most venues taking time to plan and construct their facilities," the Suns' and D-backs' venues are offering betting immediately, according to Ryan Randazzo of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The Suns are "planning to have the FanDuel sportsbook in the Footprint Center downtown open" today. Down the street, the Caesars facility at the D-backs' Chase Field "will have kiosks to place bets," although the full-fledged sportsbook that is planned "will not open for months." Sportsbook operators "expect the vast majority of revenue from mobile betting," and major operators including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and WynnBet "were signing up customers" as early as yesterday. DraftKings Dir of Race & Sportsbook Operations Johnny Avello said, “The brick and mortar locations, those are fun. ... But the way to get the most volume and most people interested is on the digital side, the way Arizona is doing it.” Still, FanDuel VP/Commercial Retail Keith Wall said in-person sportsbooks will be “massively important" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/9).

COYOTES CLOSE TO DEAL: In Phoenix, Jose Romero noted at present, 10 betting licenses for tribal casinos and 10 for pro sports teams "have been awarded" in Arizona. Among the teams "that have forged partnerships with sports books" are the Suns with FanDuel, Cardinals with BetMGM, D-backs with Caesar's Sportsbook and WNBA Mercury with Bally's. TPC Scottsdale partnered with DraftKings. The Coyotes have "yet to announce a partnership but are finalizing their sports betting details." The IFL Arizona Rattlers were "granted a mobile sportsbook license and have announced a partnership" with Rush Street Interactive, but USL club Phoenix Rising FC "was not" granted a license (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/8).

BRAVE NEW WORLD: Dolphins Vice Chair Matt Higgins said as the NFL season arrives, the pace of states legalizing gambling is “fascinating," because “up until 2018, the leagues all took a very standoff approach to gambling.” Higgins said when he served as Jets Exec VP/Business Operations, he “couldn't even do a deal with a state lotto entity” because it was “considered persona non grata." Higgins: “Clearly, gambling is here to stay. The NFL expanded its rules to allow more entities to advertise in games this year, so that’s happening." But Higgins noted as “sports leagues all over the world race to embrace” legalized betting, they do “have to keep an eye on mitigation of the downside and all the ills that come along with gambling, and I think the leagues have tried to strike a decent balance” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 9/8).

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