Last Updated Aug 02, 2021, 1:18 PM

Weekly News - 08/02/2021


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August 2nd, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting, Arizona sports betting was in the news once again. Plus, we have some speculation about Massachusetts sports betting. And, we saw Washington sports betting clear another milestone. Keep reading to learn everything that happened in legal sports betting from this last week.

If you want to find out more on some major topics not covered in this article you can check out the rest of VegasInsider with our exclusive BetMGM bonus codeDraftKings promo code or bet365 promo code for example!



Arizona sports betting has made more progress with the announcement of a TwinSpires partnership. This last Friday, the Tonto Apache Tribe announced its partnership with Twinspires. The Tonto Apache Tribe owns as well as operates the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino. It is located around an hour and a half away from Phoenix.

The announced partnership between the tribe and the Churchill Downs-owned company includes both online and retail sportsbook access. The hope is for Arizona sports betting to launch this Fall on September 9th, 2021.

However, the Arizona Department of Gaming has not announced who the twenty licenses from the state will be given to. Ten of the licenses will go to Arizona’s professional sports teams. Ten will go to Arizona’s gaming tribes.

If the partnership between TwinSpires and the Tonto Apache Tribe is granted a license, Arizona will become the seventh state in which TwinSpires has launched. Currently, TwinSpires is available in ColoradoIndianaMichiganMississippiPennsylvania as well as Tennessee. Churchill Downs also has BetAmerica in New Jersey under its belt, which should be transitioning to the TwinSpires brand shortly.

The rules for Arizona sports betting only became official a few days ago on July 26th. That is also when the two-week application period for operators began. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the legislation behind Arizona sports betting back in the Spring on April 15th. Then, in May, the United States Department of the Interior approved the state’s amended tribal gaming compact.

Soon after, The Arizona Department of Gaming went back and forth on drafts of regulations, including allowing comments from stakeholders. The initial license fee has been set at $850,000. And, the taxation rate from the state will be 8% for retail bets and 10% for mobile bets. Plus, there are guidelines available to allocate licenses if they wind up with more qualified applicants than available licenses.

Any license recipient is able to have one sports betting system, but is allowed to have two platforms. As of this writing, the deal between TwinSpires and the Tonto Apache Tribe represents the ninth such partnership in the state. The other announced partnerships are:

  • Barstool Sportsbook with the Phoenix Raceway
  • Bally’s with the Phoenix Mercury
  • Caesars with the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • FanDuel with the Phoenix Suns
  • DraftKings with TPC Scottsdale/PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open
  • Kindred Group with the Quechan Tribe
  • WynnBet with the San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • PointsBet with the Yavapai-Apache Nation


Excitingly, Washington sports betting has made more progress this past Wednesday. The Washington Gambling Commission ended up approving rules for sports betting licensing. This Summer, on August 30th, these rules will go into effect. They were approved unanimously by the commission.

However, Washington sports betting will only be able to take place in-person at a tribal facility, at least at first. This means that sportsbooks in Washington will potentially be able to go live after August 30th. But, they will need to get their licenses approved by the Washington Gambling Commission and by the tribal gaming agencies.

According to the Washington Gambling Commision, Washington sports betting applications should be available as soon as this week. The rules that were approved look very similar to the ones published earlier in the Summer in July. However, one big change is the downsizing of the cost for a major vendor license. It went from $85,000 to $65,000.

The majority of the rules are still being decided and written. But, the state hopes to have Washington sports betting up and running by the NFL season. This past June, the state of Washington renegotiated its tribal gaming compacts with the fifteen state tribes in order to include sports betting.

On July 12th, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed the deal and it was sent over to the Department of the Interior for further approval. That gave the Department of the Interior forty five days from that date to approve the compacts, until August 26th. The state of Washington has twenty nine federally recognized tribes. So far, sixteen have agreed to the new tribal gaming compacts that include sports betting, while thirteen remain in negotiations.

Federal law states that Washington sports betting will have to happen on tribal land only. But, that means that mobile sports betting will be allowed within sports betting and gaming facilities.


A potential partnership between the Boston Red Sox and the DraftKings Sportsbook could be in the future. But, that needs to be approved by Massachusetts sports betting law. DraftKings has been announced as the official daily fantasy sports provider for the Red Sox.

This agreement allows for additional signs in Fenway Park, adding to the existing banner that sits atop the famed Green Monster. But, this announcement could just be the beginning of the partnership between the team and the company. As of right now, there is no agreed upon proposal in the state for Massachusetts sports betting.

However, that means that the state’s professional sports teams could get involved in potential negotiations. And, the announcement of the partnership did hint at the hope for a future partnership when it comes to Massachusetts sports betting. There are a few hurdles that need to be cleared before the Boston Red Sox and the DraftKings Sportsbook can partner on sports betting in the state.

The Massachusetts state House has tried two amendments to their original Massachusetts sports betting proposal. However, that idea has been partially shut down. The legislation, H 3993 needs the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to study the idea of giving professional teams as well as leagues sports betting licenses.

This amended bill passed by a vote of 156-3 in the Massachusetts state House a few days ago. It was then referred to the Senate Ways and Means committee. However, the state Senate has been silent on when/if they plan to act on the legislation. But, the state Senate does have its own Massachusetts sports betting proposal.

State Senator Eric Lesser proposed S 269. But, the bill has not seen any amendments since the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies hearing that was centered around Massachusetts’ various sports betting bills. It is not yet clear whether the state Senate plans to move forward on its own bill or if it will go with the proposed bill from the House.

The two bills have a couple of differing areas. The Senate bill would not allow for any college sports betting. The House bill bans player props only. The House bill would tax retail betting at 12.5% and mobile betting at 15%. The Senate wants more, with retail betting taxed at 20% and mobile betting taxed at 25%.

There are also different license fees proposed in the two bills. Plus, the House bill would require an official league date while the Senate bill would not. If the Senate does pass Senator Lesser’s S 269, then a compromise could be reached through a conference committee. This would be very likely in that event.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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