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Sports Betting Measure Sees Some Movement in Arizona

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Feb/24/2021

A sports betting bill in Arizona is limping along after an initial burst of excitement.

The measure just barely made it through the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A move out of the Commerce Commmittee silenced much of the early optimism. 

The reason:  It was attached to a so-called "poison pill", a horse racing bill that likely violates the state's tribal compacts.

Lawyer Kurt Altman, testifying on behalf of ESL Gaming, objected to this suggestion. 

“The attorney general argues why historical horse racing would trigger the poison pill,” he testified, “but I think I can make a better argument that it doesn’t. We’re doing parimutuel wagering, which was legal long before 2002 [when the pacts were first signed], and any form of gambling that was legal before 2002 does not violate the pacts.”

Arizona's Republican Governor Doug Ducey would like to see expansive sports gambling that includes mobile.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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