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AZ Tribes Eligible To Have Sports Books Outnumber Available Licenses

A key compromise in Arizona’s new gaming compact sets aside sports book licenses for professional team owners and venues like TPC Scottsdale.

Now state officials say the number of tribes qualified for a license outnumbers those available.

Arizona tribes had a near monopoly on gambling in the state for years. But the new deal signed in April gives half of the sports book licenses to professional team owners and venue operators. The non-refundable fee to apply for a sports book license is $100,000.

The state gaming department says there are more tribal applicants who qualify than licenses available. Officials also say they’re legally barred from publicly identifying eligible tribes until after the selection process is done.

State rules on sports betting include guidance on how to move forward.

The end of business on Aug. 27 is the deadline for state regulators to decide which Arizona tribes get permission to take bets on sports.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.