Over $460 million In Wagers On Arizona Sportsbooks Leads To Record Breaking Return For The State

Written By C.J. Pierre on July 22, 2022 - Last Updated on January 30, 2023

May was another strong month for sports betting in Arizona. According to a new report by the Arizona Department of Gaming, there was over $460 million in total money wagered.

However, the amount of money wagered isn’t the only place where Arizona shined. May event wagering also reeled in a record level of privilege fees to the state.

When sports betting became legal in September 2021, many wondered how much the new venture would benefit the state of Arizona. It appears the answer to that question is, “A lot.”

Sports betting in Arizona remains hot during spring sports season

The Arizona sports betting market remains strong during the month of May. Once again proving that the Grand Canyon State should be a top-10 sports betting market for years to come.

Arizona customers placed $461,451 million in wagers in May. Numbers are down from a strong return in April. Arizona Sportsbooks won $41.4 million in gross sports betting revenue from May’s bets. That’s the highest return for the operators since November.

The big news is the amount of money the state is getting back in taxes. Arizona gained approximately $4.1 million in privilege fees during May. That sets a new record for sports betting tax revenue.

Ted Vogt, the director of the ADG, says May’s numbers keep Arizona in the spotlight in the sports betting world.

“The newly emerging event wagering industry in Arizona continues to impress, with over $460 million wagered and over $4 million in privilege fees in the month of May,” said Vogt. “Since the start of legal event wagering, we have seen approximately $30 million in privilege and licensing fees contributed to the state.”

Through the first nine months of sports betting, Arizona’s sportsbooks have produced:

  • $4.46 billion in online and retail wagers
  • $305.2 million in gross revenue
  • $16.2 million in privilege fees for the state

Understanding Where Sports Betting Tax Revenue Goes

As of now, all sports betting revenue in Arizona goes directly to the state’s General Fund. Meaning that state legislators can do whatever they want to with the money.

Arizona is not unique in this decision. A handful of states have chosen to deposit all or most sports betting revenue in the general fund. Others have designated the money for specific purposes. For example, in New York, gaming tax revenue is allocated to statewide education, grants for youth sports programs and problem gambling prevention treatment and recovery services.

Lawmakers have used Arizona’s General Fund to support more than 60 state agencies, with the Department of Education receiving the largest portion. In fiscal year 2022, the education department received just under $6 billion from the General Fund.

A majority of General Fund revenue comes from individual income and sales taxes. We’ll know how much sports betting revenue helps the general fund once the next budget report is released in the summer of 2023.

Photo by AP / Ross D. Franklin
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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