Last week brought exciting news in Arizona sports betting for Cardinals fans come football season.
NFL owners voted to allow sportsbooks to operate in stadiums on game days at the league’s 2023 annual meeting at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. It was one of more than a dozen proposals and matters approved.
The Cardinals are one of just four teams with sportsbooks on premises, with the BetMGM Sportsbook located just outside State Farm Stadium, meaning bettors will have access to the sportsbook during all the action on Sundays this fall.
Arizona at the forefront of sports betting’s evolution
Arizonans have nearly 20 online sportsbooks to choose from. Arizona sports betting is popular because there are several sports teams to bet on in The Grand Canyon State. The Phoenix Suns are coming on in the NBA at the end of the regular season. And the Arizona Diamondbacks are just getting their season started.
While Arizona was not the first state to legalize sports betting, it was the first to allow sportsbooks at stadiums. The BetMGM Arizona Sportsbook opened last September, just in time for football season, becoming the first sportsbook to open at an NFL stadium.
Bookending the season, Arizona became the first state with legal sports betting to host a Super Bowl.
The firsts extend beyond football, too.
The FanDuel Arizona Sportsbook at the Suns’ Footprint Center was the first to open in an NBA arena. This October, the DraftKings Sportsbook will open at TPC Scottsdale, becoming the first PGA Tour course with a retail sportsbook on-site.
While not the first in Major League Baseball, Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks, has a retail Caesars Arizona Sportsbook just steps from the ballpark inside Chase Field Plaza.
In recent years, many sites have seen branded sportsbook lounges enter their concourses to accompany team sponsorships. However, Arizona is blazing new trails by bringing sportsbooks to venues across multiple leagues.
The vote is still a big win despite mobile sportsbook dominance
Mobile sports betting still accounts for the vast majority of all wagers placed on sporting events nationwide. However, NFL owners’ recent decision is still a landmark victory.
Ten years ago, the ideas of an NFL team calling Las Vegas home or allowing sports betting to permeate into the sport were considered farfetched. Gambling was a threat to the league’s integrity, meant to be kept separate from on-field business.
Now, the league’s owners view sports betting as an undeniable opportunity to boost their bottom lines. And there’s now a team in Vegas.
Sports betting has assimilated into our culture at a remarkable pace over the last two-plus years, and owners’ vote to allow onsite sportsbooks to remain open on game days shows their welcome adoption of this culture.
The sports betting industry has not reached its ceiling, either. Retail sportsbooks will never match mobile betting numbers, but they will bring additional authority and brand awareness to their names that can prove invaluable for prospective customers.
More teams will soon add in-stadium sportsbooks
Of the four teams with onsite sportsbooks, only the Washington Commanders have a sportsbook inside FedEx Field. The New York Giants and New York Jets share MetLife Stadium, which has a FanDuel Sportsbook at the same complex at Meadowlands Racing.
Moving forward, NFL teams with legal in-person sports betting will participate in a separate revenue-sharing agreement, which The Athletic said would come into effect once a stadium sportsbook exceeds $20 million in gaming revenue.
With the first $20 million in revenue going to the sportsbook, operators now have another incentive to build beyond quickly out-of-date lounges.
The Baltimore Ravens (Caesars) are one frontrunner, as the Commanders already paved the way in the Maryland region. The Cleveland Browns (Bally’s) and Cincinnati Bengals (Betfred) are two more, building on Ohio’s recent success since legalizing sports betting on Jan. 1.
Plenty more attractive markets remain, though.
- Las Vegas Raiders (BetMGM)
- Chicago Bears (Rivers Casino)
- Indianapolis Colts (Caesars)
- Detroit Lions (WynnBet)
- New Orleans Saints (Caesars)