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Arizona Legislators Take Issue With Gov. Ducey's Sports Betting Deal

Published: Friday, February 19, 2021 - 8:17am
Updated: Monday, April 19, 2021 - 1:31pm

Arizona legislators are starting to pick apart a gambling deal Gov. Doug Ducey would like to strike with the tribes. 

The measure, Senate Bill 1797, would allow legal betting on sporting events and on "fantasy sports'' leagues.

One issue for legislators is that the bill would give sports teams, some of which are owned by Ducey’s political supporters, the exclusive right to take bets and not allow others to bid for that right.

Republican Sen. Tyler Pace is calling it a conflict of interest. 

"So, I'm a sports team. So, I'm the Cardinals or something. And I'm playing the game. But I'm also the house for the bet?" Pace said.

Legislators are also concerned about a parallel deal that Ducey is doing with the tribes to expand casino operations. 

If lawmakers aren’t satisfied, the whole deal could blow up as the current gaming compact gives tribes veto power over any new form of off-reservation gaming. And they won’t consent until they get what they want, including new games and casinos. 

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