Arizona Online Casinos
Arizona is in the midst of a dramatic expansion of its gambling profile. Fans of both online and live gaming in the Grand Canyon State are soon to find many more options available to them. More than two dozen tribal casinos make their home in Arizona, and most of them are clustered in and around the southern and central areas of the state.
Now, Arizona does not license or regulate online casinos. None of the recent laws that are set to make Arizona more gambling-friendly include online casinos. However, there are several sweepstakes sites active in Arizona that can provide you with some great online casino game action in the meantime. Even though your favorite titles, like Wheel of Fortune, Starburst, or Gonzo’s Quest, aren’t available on these sites, plenty of quality slot titles (and table games) are. Playing on these sites is completely legal, so if you want to experience some of your favorite casino action without traveling, you’ve come to the right place.
We are also monitoring any Arizona online casino developments that may take place, so make sure you check back with us from time to time. Here’s what’s happening for online casinos in Arizona.
Are online casinos legal in Arizona?
No. The kinds of sites and apps that you see in places like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are not permitted under Arizona law at this time. If you see any information to the contrary, it is either mistaken or a distortion of the truth. Sites that you find advertising online casino play for Arizonans are based outside of the United States and do not conform to legal standards found in the US. It is quite risky to play on these sites as they do not have a perfect record when it comes to handling cash transactions in a secure and honest way. Instead, residents and visitors to Arizona can play on sweepstakes casino sites.
Will Arizona regulate online casinos?
Possibly. Now that online sports betting is live in Arizona, both the public and lawmakers are set to whet their appetites for more online gambling. In addition, renegotiated compacts between the casino-owning Native American tribes and the state will allow for a greater diversity of casino games, so public attitudes toward gambling expansion appear to be positive in the Grand Canyon State at this time.
With that said, there is nothing to report in terms of legislative movement toward online casinos. It is likely that all the legislators’ and regulators’ attention is focused on sports betting and the new compacts, and online casinos are the farthest thing from their minds. We cannot give any notion of a timeframe for online casinos coming to Arizona. In fact, we’re only speculating that they would come at all.
Legal online casino sites in Arizona
Now, if you just read the section above, you might be a bit confused. After all, you can find numerous sites that offer online casino games like slots, blackjack, and roulette if you perform a simple web search in Arizona.
However, what may not be immediately clear is that there are different types of sites that offer online casino play. Some of them are legal, some of them are not, and some of them exist in a sort of legal limbo. Each one comes with its own advantages and risks, but only one of them — sweepstakes sites — is worth discussing at length. First, here are the four types of online casino sites:
- Licensed online casinos are the type that you find in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania such as DraftKings online casino or BetMGM online casino. They are legal businesses and are closely regulated by the gaming commissions in their respective states. They often include the state gaming commission seal on their sites to verify that they are legal and licensed. These sites are not legal in Arizona at this time.
- Offshore online casinos are likely the brands that appear legitimate and offer real money play to Arizonans. However, these sites are based outside of the US and are not bound to follow US or Arizona laws, regulations, or business practices. They bear a tremendous security and reliability risk for US players, including those in Arizona, and we do not recommend that you play on them.
- Social casinos are the sites that you usually find on social media sites like Facebook or as standalone game sites. You have likely seen advertisements for them in spots for brands like Zynga, Big Fish, Slotomania, and Double Down Casino. They are always free to play and none of their games bear any real money value whatsoever. However, they may offer in-game purchases like extra play money or avatar spiffs to give you more opportunities to play.
- Sweepstakes casinos pattern their sites and business models to conform to sweepstakes law in most states — the same law observed by Publisher’s Clearing House, for example. No matter their format, sweepstakes sites must be free to play, must give away the prizes they offer, and must not tie the conditions for victory to how much a player has paid. It’s the type of online casino that we recommend you play in Arizona.
How sweepstakes casinos work in Arizona
Sweepstakes casinos accomplish this task through a two-currency format. One currency on each site is available for direct purchase, but can only function as play money. Meanwhile, another type of currency cannot be bought but can be redeemed at its face value for an equivalent amount of cash. You can also secure some of the redeemable currency through social media contests on the website’s home page. It is also possible to handwrite a request to the sites for some playable and withdrawable cash. Although this system might take a bit of acclimation from you, it’s soon pretty easy to understand. Here are some of the top sweepstakes sites that we recommend you try.
Chumba Casino is the flagship for a family of sweepstakes sites owned and operated by VGW Holdings. You can find dozens of great slot titles here, including some progressive jackpot slots. There are also several different table game options that you can play for either Gold Coins, the fun money, or Sweeps Coins, the redeemable cash equivalent.
Luckyland Slots is another member of the VGW Holdings group and, as its name implies, offers slot titles for play with both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. While there are not as many game options as there are on Chumba, the games are a bit more intricately rendered and detailed. There are also some instant win and scratch-off games that are available for players to try.
Funzpoints is a Canadian sweepstakes site that operates in a similar manner to Luckyland Slots. One major difference is the fact that its currencies are simply Funzpoints and Premium Funzpoints. The site also restricts a sizable portion of its games from free play, which adds more incentive to playing for Premium Funzpoints. In addition to several great slot titles, you can also find options for keno.
Casinos in Arizona
Although there are no purely commercial casinos in the state, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized Native American tribes. Thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the tribes and the state can enter into compacts with one another in order to offer casino play on tribal lands. Hence, Arizona is home to 25 casino locations, although not every tribe owns a casino.
Multiple casinos are located in Chandler, Prescott, and Scottsdale. The northern third of Arizona has the fewest casinos, while most are located in the central and southern parts of the state. Most of Arizona’s casinos are conveniently clustered around its major population centers. There are numerous casinos in both the Phoenix and Tucson areas, with the potential for more casinos as per the 2021 tribal compact. Here are all of your land-based casino options in Arizona:
|Apache Gold Casino Resort||San Carlos||777 Geronimo Springs Blvd.|
|Apache Sky Casino||Winkelman||777 Apache Sky Blvd.|
|Blue Water Resort & Casino||Parker||11300 Resort Dr.|
|Bucky's Casino||Prescott||1500 AZ-69|
|Casino Arizona||Scottsdale||524 N. 92nd St.|
|Casino Del Sol||Tucson||5655 W. Valencia Rd.|
|Casino of the Sun||Tucson||7406 S. Camino De Oeste|
|Cliff Castle Casino Hotel||Camp Verde||555 W. Middle Verde Rd.|
|Cocopah Resort Casino||Somerton||15318 S. Avenue B|
|Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment Tucson||Tucson||7350 S. Nogales Hwy.|
|Desert Diamond Sahuarita Casino and Resort||Sahuarita||1100 W. Pima Mine Rd.|
|Desert Diamond Casino West Valley||Glendale||9431 W. Northern Ave.|
|Desert Diamond Casino Why||Why||Hwy. 86, Mile Post 55|
|Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino||Maricopa||15406 N. Maricopa Rd.|
|Hon-Dah Resort Casino||Pinetop||777 AZ-260|
|Lone Butte Casino||Chandler||1077 S. Kyrene Rd.|
|Mazatzal Casino||Payson||Hwy. 87, Mile Post 251|
|Paradise Casino||Yuma||450 Quechan Dr.|
|Spirit Mountain Casino||Mohave Valley||8555 AZ-95|
|Talking Stick Resort||Scottsdale||9800 Talking Stick Way|
|Twin Arrows Casino||Flagstaff||22181 Resort Blvd.|
|Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino||Laveen Village||15091 S. Komatke Lane|
|We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort||Fort McDowell||10438 WeKoPa Way|
|Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino||Chandler||5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd.|
|Yavapai Casino||Prescott||1505 AZ-69|
Map of Arizona casinos
Casino del Sol – Tucson
Casino del Sol in the southwest part of Tucson is likely home to more slot machines than any other casino in Arizona. Over 1,300 machines call the property home. However, Casino del Sol is not merely a slot parlor. There are several different varieties of table games onsite, including multiple variations of blackjack, Three Card Poker, High Card Flush, Pai Gow Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. In addition, you can try your luck in the casino’s 13-table poker room or its 600-seat bingo hall.
Casino del Sol is also a full-service resort with a 151-room hotel called Estrella, numerous restaurants, in-room dining service, a spa, an entertainment venue, and a resort-style pool. In addition, the property is also home to the Sewailo Golf Club. Casino del Sol, its sister property Casino of the Sun, Sewailo Golf Club, and Estrella are all owned and operated by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale
Talking Stick Resort is a large and quite well-appointed casino location in Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb northeast of town. The casino space is gigantic — there is more than 240,000 square feet of room dedicated to the resort’s various games of chance. Along with its 800 slot machines, Talking Stick features several table games that spread games like blackjack, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Casino War, and High Card Flush. Players can also take part in keno drawings that run from 8:30 a.m. to nearly midnight. Finally, the casino resort is also home to the Arena Poker Room, a 47-table space that is the largest poker room in the entire state of Arizona.
Like Casino del Sol, Talking Stick is home to a hotel and several restaurants and bars. Talking Stick is also home to an oasis pool, a fitness center, a spa, and an 18-hole golf course. Finally, between the Showroom and the Salt River Ballroom, there is seating for more than 2,200 people to see some of the biggest musical acts, comedians, and shows.
What games do Arizona casinos offer?
Between all the different casinos spread across Arizona, you are sure to find plenty of different games to play. Slots are especially popular, as are bingo and keno. Various table games are also part of the gambling landscape in the Grand Canyon State. The list of games you can find at Arizona casinos will be growing longer quite soon, too. Many casinos feature poker rooms and sportsbooks will be opening in casinos as well after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in April 2021 to legalize AZ sportsbooks.
At the same time, many of the same or similar games are also available online, either through social casino sites or sweepstakes sites. The exact selection will vary from site to site, and the games online don’t function in quite the same way as they do at an Arizona casino. So, we are going to walk through all the different games that you can find in the Grand Canyon State, regardless of whether they are online options, live options, or both.
As is the case all over the country, slots represent the primary attraction in casinos. Visitors will find all of the most popular slots titles, including lots of progressive jackpots. Video poker, video blackjack, and video keno are often among the offerings as well.
Casino Del Sol has the most slot machines of any casino in Arizona with over 1,300. However, there are several other casinos with more than 1,000 slots:
- Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment Tucson
- Desert Diamond Casino West ValleyHarrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
- Twin Arrows Casino
- Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino
- We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort
- Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
According to the 2003 state compact, Arizona tribes were only permitted to offer a maximum of 20,500 machines in total. Those compacts also set the maximum bet at $25. With the 2021 update in place, tribal groups could offer as many as 6,300 more. In practice, there are only about 15,300 machines in the state, but the new compact also calls for the addition of more casino properties.
You can also find slots, jackpot slots, and video poker through some of the sweepstakes sites above. Obviously, Luckyland Slots has some options, but so do Chumba Casino, Funzpoints, and even Global Poker. These titles function so much like normal video slots that you will struggle to tell the difference.
Blackjack and other table games
There are also numerous locations for table games in Arizona. Obviously, blackjack is the most popular and most common table game you can find, and any casino that has table games is almost certain to offer blackjack, first and foremost. In fact, it’s not uncommon to spread blackjack games with key format variations or side bets.
Other popular card games to play in the Grand Canyon State include Three-Card Poker, Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Casino War, High Card Flush, and Pai Gow poker. However, one of the biggest changes from the 2021 compact update is the expansion of permitted table games for Arizona casinos. All casinos in the state are now permitted to host up to 100 games, and some of the casinos near larger population areas can house as many as 150. With the expanded number of tables, the tribes can also offer, in addition to the games listed above, the following:
- Pai Gow (tiles)
- Sic Bo
When it comes to online offerings, finding table games to play is a bit dodgier. Some sites, like Luckyland and Funzpoints, don’t even offer table games. The ones that do will usually offer blackjack and roulette. Other games are much harder to find. You can find Caribbean Stud (called “Caribbean Poker”) on Global Poker.
Roughly a dozen casinos in Arizona operate poker rooms. These facilities offer cash games and tournaments. For the most part, the rooms are small and contain fewer than 10 tables. In those facilities, you are mostly going to find one or two tables running, and the game being spread will be no-limit hold’em.
However, some of the larger rooms, like the Arena at Talking Stick, the room at Lone Butte, and the room at Desert Diamond – Western Valley, feature more than 30 tables and are not unknown to host major tournaments, like the Arizona State Poker Championship at Talking Stick.
In terms of online options, Arizonans should try out sweepstakes poker at Global Poker. Global Poker offers cash games, tournaments, sit-n-go’s, and jackpot sit-n-go’s at a wide variety of blind levels and buy-ins. In addition to the standard no-limit hold’em games, there are also regular outlets for playing pot-limit Omaha, too.
Several tribal casinos in Arizona began as bingo halls, and bingo continues to be a very popular game offered in many of the state’s casinos. Many have bingo halls with hundreds of seats, with some like Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort featuring 1,000-seat rooms. There are charitable bingo halls and other venues for bingo scattered around the state, too, so if you’re a bingo fan in Arizona, you should have no real issues.
Keno is another staple of Arizona casinos, with some featuring progressive jackpots just like with slots. Many casinos in the state have special keno parlors or lounges where players can pick their numbers while dining, watching sports, and/or socializing.
There are a few options for online keno among the sweepstakes sites we mentioned. The most notable examples are on Funzpoints, which has a couple of innovative, colorful, and fun takes on keno. If you need a break from slot play, Paintball Keno or Four Seasons Keno might be just the thing for you.
FAQ on Arizona gambling
Is online gambling legal in Arizona?
There are many types of legal online gambling in Arizona. However, if you are referring to online casinos or poker sites, there are no legal measures to support those types of games at this time. However, Arizona has legalized several forms of online gambling in the recent past, including online sports betting, online horse betting, and daily fantasy sports. You can also play on the casino and poker games found through sweepstakes sites in Arizona.
Can you play online slot games in Arizona?
It depends on what you mean. If you are looking for online versions of your favorite retail slot machine, then the answer is probably a “no.” There are no legal and regulated online casinos in Arizona, and any statements otherwise are erroneous. However, if you’re not bound and determined to play Divine Fortune or Siberian Storm, you can find several great options on the sweepstakes sites mentioned above.
How many casinos are there in Arizona?
About 25. However, the old compact allowed tribes to open up to 44 properties, and the new version allows many more. As many as 55 casinos may call Arizona home under the law. It’s probably unlikely they’ll ever make it to that number, though.
What is the legal gambling age in Arizona?
21. Arizona’s legal gambling age is one of the most consistent across the board, as there is no differentiation between horseracing or lottery and any other type of gambling. Because this change is a fairly recent one in the law (2003), don’t expect it to change soon.
Who oversees Arizona casinos and gambling?
The Arizona Department of Gaming is the oversight agency that watches over all manner of gambling in the State of Arizona. Horse racing, tribal gambling, and management of MMA and boxing matches all fall under the purview of the ADG. In addition, tribal casinos are also managed by the Tribal Gaming Authority of the tribe that owns the casino.
History of Arizona casino gambling
As the site of iconic Old West locations like Tombstone, Arizona has long been associated with gambling. However, the saloons and gaming dens of the 19th century have now been replaced with casinos, which today represent big business in the Grand Canyon State.
In fact, Arizona’s many Native American-owned casinos earn approximately $2 billion annually in gross gaming revenue. That places the state fifth in the country in terms of tribal gaming, only exceeded by California, Oklahoma, Florida, and Washington. Just a few years after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act became law in 1988, Arizona started forming tribal-state compacts to allow its many tribes to conduct Class III casino-style gaming on their lands. We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, a former bingo hall, was the first tribal casino to open in Arizona in 1992.
Nowadays, there are more than two dozen tribal casinos scattered across Arizona. In terms of online casinos, there really is not much to report. There haven’t been any serious legislative attempts to bring online casino gaming to Arizona. However, with the recent launch of online sportsbooks in the state, it’s possible that something might start moving for casino play online in the near future. In the meantime, how did Arizona gambling get its start? Here are some key dates in Arizona’s history.
- 1949: Despite Arizona’s Wild West history with gambling, wagering is illegal throughout most of the state’s life in the first half of the 20th century. However, that status begins to change in 1949 with the inception of the Arizona Racing Commission. Live racing has been occurring in the state at Rillito Park Race Track in Tucson for six years, and the new commission’s task is to manage the newly-legal pari-mutuel betting that is occurring and will continue to occur at the state’s tracks. Rillito Park remains in service to this day, and there are two other live racing venues in the Grand Canyon State. In addition, Arizonans have the option to bet at roughly 60 off-track betting locations in the state.
- 1980: The next major type of gambling to become legal in Arizona is the lottery. The Arizona State Lottery Statute, aka Proposition 200, passes by a narrow 51-49 vote in November 1980. The first ticket, a scratcher, sold in July 1981. Since then, the lottery has added multi-state and intrastate draw games to its menu of options, and the commission itself is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Arizona Lottery games are only available through retailers — there is no online or iLottery option at this time. Arizona requires lottery players to be 21 in order to participate, rather than the usual 18 found in most other states.
- 1988: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) becomes federal law and opens the door for casinos to open on tribal lands across the US. States with federally recognized tribes have the option of negotiating compacts with them in order to allow Class III gaming onsite. Many of Arizona’s tribes do not wait to come to an agreement with the state and place slot machines onto their properties. In response, Gov. Fife Symington declares the games illegal and executes several orders to raid the casinos in question. The resulting tension boils over into a tense three-week standoff with tribal members at the Fort McDowell Casino in 1992.
- 1992: The standoff succeeds in drawing national attention to the disagreement and forcing Symington’s hand on negotiations. In just three years (1992-1994), he manages to secure compacts with 16 Arizona tribes, including the Yavapai at Fort McDowell. Thus, the Fort McDowell Casino becomes the first tribal casino in Arizona to open its doors legally and in earnest in 1992. The property continues to operate to this day, although it changed its name to the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in 2020. By 2003, 22 federally recognized tribes reached an agreement on compacts with the state. Most tribes now own at least one casino, and a few have multiple locations.
- 2021: There’s no denying that the gambling expansion in April 2021 is a red-letter moment for Arizona. Almost every current aspect of gaming in Arizona, including the number of games allowed, number of tables allowed, and number of casino venues authorized, became greater with the new law and compacts. In addition to signing the new compacts, Gov. Doug Ducey also put Arizona onto the path of becoming an online and live sports betting state the very same day.