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Lawmaker Proposes Sports Betting Throughout Arizona

Published: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 3:13pm
Chad Snow/KJZZ
A ticket for a sports bet placed in Las Vegas in May 2018.
Arizona State Legislature
Sonny Borrelli

After the U.S. Supreme Court gave states the green light to legalize sports betting last year, an Arizona lawmaker has introduced legislation to expand such wagering throughout the state.

State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, a Republican from Lake Havasu, has introduced legislation that would allow federally recognized tribes — with existing gaming compacts — to run their own sports books.

Not only that, Borrelli proposes remote betting by putting kiosks in licensed establishments like bars and private clubs.

“Instead of going to the casino, I could just go to the local bar, place my bet on the Cardinals and hope I win," Borrelli said. "This would be very groundbreaking for Arizona, because we could be the first state to do it in that concept.”

While the tribes would still keep most of the revenue, Borrelli says the state would reap the additional benefits of taxes imposed on the off-site kiosk transactions.

And he’s not worried about gambling being too accessible to the general public.

“It’s there. People want to do it. Nobody’s forcing anybody to do it," Borrelli said. "I like this concept of these kiosks being in a bar so you have to be 21 to be there in the first place.”

The bill is scheduled for hearings in the Senate commerce and appropriations committees later this month.