BetMGM has opened up the first in-casino retail sportsbook in Arizona.
The sports betting operator teamed up with Gila River Hotels & Casinos to open three retail sportsbooks in the Grand Canyon State. The first opened last week at Vee Quiva in Laveen. Folks lined up at the ticket window and self-service betting kiosks to place their bets at the first brick-and-mortar operation.
The event had a racing theme with NASCAR holding its championship weekend at Phoenix Raceway over the weekend. Gila River is hoping to make BetMGM sportsbooks the prime destinations for sports fans and people getting into sports betting in Arizona.
Gila River celebrates BetMGM Sportsbook launch
BetMGM and Gila River Hotels & Casinos held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the BetMGM Sportsbook at Vee Quiva. Soon after, folks were placing their bets quick, fast and in a hurry. Justin Sullivan, the director of casino marketing for Gila River Hotels & Casinos, basked in the celebration.
“Throughout the day we just kept getting fans of all shapes and sizes and sports coming in, just super excited to finally have the experience of an actual physical sportsbook inside of a Phoenix-area casino,” said Sullivan. “Couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out. Just a ton of excitement from everybody that we talked to.”
NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were on hand for the event ahead on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. The popular drivers spoke to fans about their experiences on the track and the buzz surrounding the big race weekend. Afterward, they hung out to take pictures, sign autographs and chat with some of their biggest fans. With such a huge event in the Phoenix area, the opening of the sportsbook couldn’t have come at a better time, according to Sullivan.
“The races in town this weekend just bring in so many fans from all over the country. And it just provided the perfect keystone event for us to wrap our launch around.”
Both Dillon and Reddick drive for Richard Childress Racing. And to help celebrate the opening of the sportsbook, the race team rolled in Reddick’s Number 8 car that he was preparing to drive in Sunday’s race. It was all decked out with a nice BetMGM paint job for fans to snap a few photos with.
Inside the new BetMGM Sportsbook at Vee Quiva
The BetMGM sportsbook at Vee Quiva has 25 large-screen displays, a huge media wall and enough room to seat more than 100 guests. Customers can watch games from all major US and international sports. The sportsbook also features 20 betting kiosks and ticket writers ready to assist anyone with placing bets.
The team at Gila River hit the ground running once Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law that legalized online sports betting in Arizona as well as retail sportsbooks in April. Once the 2021 gaming compacts were signed to allow the state’s casinos to operate retail sportsbooks, the Gila River staff got right to work. And Sullivan made sure to credit as many as possible.
“From our maintenance staff to our facilities teams to all the folks in our IT and AV systems, everybody had a part in this and really worked super hard. I can’t tell you how many long days and nights it’s been to really turn this around as quickly as we did.”
Guests can also enjoy food and drinks while placing bets and watching their favorite teams. It’s a great environment for people to hang out no matter if they are huge sports fans or not.
More to come from BetMGM, Gila River
Gila River broke the mold by becoming the first tribal casino to incorporate a retail sportsbook. And for BetMGM, the space is its first brick-and-mortar in Arizona and complement to its BetMGM AZ betting app. However, neither party is done. BetMGM and Gila River are collaborating to build custom sportsbooks at the Wild Horse Pass and Lone Butte properties as well.
The sportsbook at Wild Horse Pass will have its grand opening on Nov. 11. Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer will be on hand for that event.
The Lone Butte property will hold a grand opening for its new sportsbook on Nov. 13, with UFC fighters Michael Chiesa and Miesha Tate there to celebrate with fans.
BetMGM is also working with the Cardinals to create a BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium. The plan is to have it up and running in time for the 2022 NFL season.