DraftKings Takes Swing At PGA Tour With Retail Sportsbook In Phoenix

Written By T.J. McBride on February 21, 2023 - Last Updated on February 23, 2023
DraftKings to build retail sportsbook by TPC Scottsdale in Phoenix

As more professional sports teams partner with sportsbooks, it was inevitable that golf courses would eventually attract the attention of major operators. DraftKings is building a physical sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, which hosts the Phoenix Open each year.

The retail sportsbook will be the first at a PGA Tour golf course when it opens in October. It certainly won’t be the last.

DraftKings’ venue will be fourth physical sportsbook in Arizona

There’s just a few brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state, but there are 18 sportsbooks available for online sports betting in Arizona. The new DraftKings retail venue will become one of just four physical sportsbooks in Arizona.

Construction is currently underway in Scottsdale and should be done in eight months.

The DraftKings sportsbook will have seven ticketing windows and 40 betting kiosks. Its interior area will seat 400, with more seating available on an outside patio. The location is directly across from the TPC Scottsdale clubhouse and the course’s 18th hole.

PGA Tour thinks sportsbooks will bring in new fans

There are several benefits for the PGA Tour to have physical sportsbooks at its courses. They can help bolster viewership and in-person attendance at events. Also, they can attract a younger and more diverse fan base to the sport.

There were more than $600 million in wagers on sports in Arizona last December. That’s more than a half a billion dollars in one month. It’s no wonder the PGA Tour is excited, said Norb Gambuzza, senior vice president of media and gaming for the PGA Tour.

“Part of the overall strategy is to reach more new fans and to create more engagement with existing fans through the lens of sports betting. When we talk about our strategy, that is really at the top. So, there is a number of different things that we are doing as a part of that strategy in this market access deal in Arizona, and building the sportsbook is one kind of vertical in that strategy.”

The ability to wager improves the amount of enjoyment people get out of watching sports and attending sports events. Also, fans tend to immerse themselves deeper in a sport when they have money riding on outcomes.

Patrick Fortuna, a Phoenix resident who was attending the Phoenix Open earlier this month, told Cronkite News that he thinks physical sportsbooks at courses will increase fan interest.

“Yeah, a sportsbook entices people to gamble no matter what. And I think when people like me – I am not a massive golf fan – I enjoy golf, but I think a sportsbook would really push people in the direction of gambling on the sport and really being more enticed to come here and enjoy the sport.”

Attendance high at Phoenix Open tournaments

DraftKings wasn’t the only sportsbook interested in establishing a physical sportsbook at ITC Scottsdale. Its location is away from other sportsbooks in Phoenix, so it has little or no competition, Gambuzza told Cronkite News.

“If you kind of map and plotted where all these (sportsbooks) are, you would see that we have a bit of a geographic advantage, we are separate and we’re also in an area that has got kind of, from an economic standpoint, a bit more of an affluent clientele nearby. So, I think that is one of the reasons that DraftKings also was intrigued with this, due to its ability to be a little bit different from the others.”

It also helps that attendance is high at the Phoenix Open. That fact wasn’t lost on DraftKings, Gambuzza said.

“It is this golf tournament that has this very distinct personality and massive attendance. … You have this awesome tournament, the Thunderbirds who run the tournament, the sponsor in (Waste Management) and then you have TPC Scottsdale. It kind of became like, ‘If we are going to do this, we have got the ingredients for a really special and successful venture, so let’s do it.’”

Interestingly, DraftKings’ sportsbook will be open to the public, except during the Phoenix Open. It will be a hospitality area for VIP guests during the tournament in February.

Major stadiums and arenas in Arizona have in-house sportsbooks

DraftKings is the first retail sportsbook at a PGA Tour golf course. But it’s not the first at the home of professional sports teams in Arizona.

In fact, the home arenas and stadiums of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns all house physical sportsbooks.

  • State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals: BetMGM retail sportsbook
  • Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns: FanDuel retail sportsbook
  • Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks: Caesars Entertainment retail sportsbook
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver who covers the Denver Nuggets as a beat writer. He contributes regularly to PlayTexas on issues surrounding the illegal gaming market. His byline can be found across many websites such as ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and others.

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