Arizona Spent $1M On Problem Gambling In FY 2022; Saw Uptick In Racing, MMA

Written By Aleeyah Jadavji on May 2, 2023
Arizona spent over $1M on treatment of problem gambling in FY 2022

A few things stood out in the Arizona Department of Gaming’s annual report for fiscal year 2022, which is from July 2021 through June 2022.

First off, the ADG’s Division of Problem Gambling spent more than $1 million in FY 2022 on problem gambling treatment.

Second, all three horse racing tracks in Arizona ran live races in FY 2022, the first time that has happened since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country beginning in spring 2020.

Finally, the boxing and mixed martial arts industry rebounded tremendously in FY 2022. The state hosted nearly two dozen more fights in FY 2022 than in the previous fiscal year.

Tribes make quarterly payments to the state

Arizona is home to 22 federally-recognized Native American tribes. Sixteen of the tribes offer casino gambling, while the other six sell their slots gaming rights to the tribes with casinos. Arizona online casinos are still prohibited, even though online sports betting is thriving across the state.

With the passing of Proposition 202 in 2002, tribes must make quarterly payments each year to the state based on a percentage of their gross gaming revenue. The tribes’ total contribution was $123.6 million in FY 2022.

Most of the money (88%) goes to the Arizona Benefits Fund, which funds education, hospital, wildlife, and tourism services. The remaining 12% goes to cities, towns, and counties where there are casinos. The contribution in FY 2022 was $15.1 million.

Over $1.1 million spent on treatment of problem gambling

Each year, ADG gives 2% of the Arizona Benefits Fund to the Division of Problem Gambling (DPG) to pay for treatment and education on problem gambling. The DPG was created to support education, prevention, and the treatment of problem gambling for those affected as well as their families.

In FY 2022, more than $1.1 million was spent on the treatment of problem gambling in the state. The DPG spent a total of $1.76 million in FY 2022 on treatments and operational costs. DPG provided 32 hours of training sessions to treatment providers, and these professionals treated 816 people.

Of the 2,152 active self-exclusions in Arizona in FY 2022, there were 363 new enrollments for the year.

Some of the ways in which the DPG offers help for people entangled in problem gambling include:

  • Educating people at exhibits and conferences
  • Providing counseling, specialized treatment, and a 24/7 helpline
  • Voluntary casino self-exclusion programs

Racing division saw increases across the board

Arizona put up big numbers in the racing division in FY 2022.

In terms of total handle, live races increased by 7% from 2021. Increases were seen across the board, including simulcast races, teletracking, and on-track and off-track handle.

State revenues increased by 23.2% from 2021. Total wagering in FY 2022 was $355.4 million, with the state taking a $1.8 million cut, an increase of 22.5% from 2021.

Boxing and MMA on the rise in Arizona

The funding for boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) in the state comes from the Racing Regulation Fund. For FY 2022, a total of $1.8 million was spent.

ADG’s Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Division supports and regulates unarmed sporting events in Arizona and promotes safety among participants and fighters.

This division also contributes revenue from event and licensing fees as well as other tax levies back to the Racing Regulation Fund.

In FY 2022, there were 23 more events in boxing and MMA than in 2021. For FY 2023, the budget has been increased to $2.3 million. The average over the last three years has been around $1.8 million.

Here is a breakdown of the different events from 2022 as reported by the ADG:

  • Arizona title fight: 1
  • New promoters: 4
  • US/regional title fights: 6
  • World title fights: 6
  • Arizona events televised worldwide: 8
  • Events held: 32
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Aleeyah Jadavji

Aleeyah hails from Toronto, Ontario, and has worked predominantly in the poker industry since 2015. From writing to interviewing big winners and live reporting on poker's biggest stages, she's seen it all. Aleeyah loves to cook and create content to showcase her passion for food and travel. She also loves sriracha and doesn't trust anyone who believes it's not a top-tier condiment.

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