Aug 21, 2023 - Sports

Phoenix Rising plan to apply for online gaming license falls through

Animated illustration of a sports betting app on a phone starting to shake, and a delete button popping up in the top right corner.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Sports gamblers may soon have new options for placing their bets, but an online wagering app licensed by the Phoenix Rising soccer team won't be one of them.

State of play: Phoenix Rising planned to apply for an online wagering license during the recently concluded application period.

  • Club governor Bill Kraus told the Arizona Republic in July that the team would "absolutely" apply for one of the two open sports franchise licenses.
  • The team was denied a license in 2021 when online sports wagering was legalized in Arizona, but Kraus said last month they "solved or corrected a few of the issues that we had with our first application."

Driving the news: The team didn't apply because "the extremely short notice and application window provided by the Arizona Department of Gaming made it impossible for our preferred designated sports betting operator to fulfill the required information by the deadline," team president Bobby Dulle said in a statement provided to Axios Phoenix.

  • "We are hopeful there will be another application window soon that will allow us more time to re-apply," he said.

Zoom in: The Arizona Department of Gaming last Tuesday closed the latest event wagering application period for three open licenses — one that's reserved for Native American tribes and two for professional sports franchises.

  • Application information is confidential by law unless a license is granted, so the agency didn't say who applied.
  • Department spokesperson Max Hartgraves tells Axios Phoenix the agency expects to release more information about next steps around the end of the month.

Details: The sports wagering law signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey in 2021 reserved 10 online gaming app licenses for tribes and 10 for professional franchises.

  • The Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, TPC Scottsdale, Phoenix Speedway and Arizona Rattlers already have online wagering licenses.
  • They can also run brick-and-mortar sports books, though mobile bets typically account for more than 99% of those placed in Arizona.

How it works: Tribes and franchises partner with gaming companies to run their mobile apps.

  • The Cardinals use BetMGM, for example, while the Hualapai Tribe partnered with the Golden Nugget.

Yes, but: If WynnBet is your sports gaming app of choice, you'll have to find somewhere else to place your bets.

  • WynnBet announced last week it's shutting down operations in eight states, including Arizona.
  • In Arizona it's the online gaming partner of the San Carlos Apache tribe.

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