Arizona lawmakers pass 'fantasy sports' bill, heads to Ducey for signature

Senate Bill 1797, also known as the fantasy sports bill, was passed on Monday and is now headed to the governor's office for his signature.

Gov. Doug Ducey has already signaled his support for the bill.

Just minutes after the vote, Ducey tweeted, "A new tribal-state gaming compact just passed the legislature! The updated agreement is a win-win for Arizonans, tribal members, and sports leagues and teams. Thank you to everyone who worked to improve Arizona’s gaming compact!"

SB 1797 would legalize online sports betting and authorize 10 licensees to set up sports books at or near stadiums, race tracks, and golf courses.

As a result, people would be able to bet on their favorite teams at their venues. Fans could place bets on the Diamondbacks at Chase Field, or the Suns at the Phoenix Suns arena, for example.

10 more licenses would go to tribes that would allow them to open new casinos or sports books.

The bill would also lead to a renegotiation of the state's compact with tribes.

Most of the state's tribes support the bill.

State Senator Sally Gonzales, a Democrat and member of the Yaqui Tribe, opposes SB 1797, saying in the long run, it will be detrimental to Indian gaming and Indian communities.

"The tribes do want it and they’ve asked our leaders to vote for it, but you know how they’re doing it. With their hands behind their backs. Because they need and want a new compact and the governor is holding this legislation to pass before he signs a new compact with them," she said.

Hockey and baseball are two of the sports Brian Rodriguez already likes wagering on. He hosts The Dollar Bet, Arizona’s sports betting podcast, and now that sports wagering in Arizona is about to be legal, he’ll have a whole lot more to talk about.

"It’s going to be unique. We have a great tournament with TPC Scottsdale and Waste Management and now you’re gonna be able to watch and place a bet, too. It’s going to be really awesome," Rodriguez said.

"It’s going to benefit not just the state as a whole, but our Native American communities as well. I represent two of them and I know they were very excited," said Arizona Republican Senator. T.J. Shope who also sponsored the bill.

Read the bill: SB 1797 - fantasy sports betting; event wagering

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