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Tribal Lawsuit Seeks To Prevent Legalization of Sports Betting In Arizona

Sports betting is scheduled to become legal in Arizona on Sept. 9, but a lawsuit from the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe could stop the legislation from taking effect.

The tribe believes the law conflicts with the state constitution.

HB 2772, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in April, grants 20 sports betting licenses for Arizona entities — 10 for professional sports teams and 10 for tribal partners. 

Arizona has 22 federally recognized tribes, and 16 applied for licenses.

Attorneys claim the law violates Arizona's Voter Protection Act, because it permits nontribal gaming operators to engage in gambling off Indian lands.

The lawsuit also asserts that allowing sports franchisees to compete with tribes would reduce potential income, hampering tribes’ government operations.

The tribe seeks a temporary restraining order, and eventually a permanent injunction, against the law.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.