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Arizona distributes final sports betting license to tribes; 2 team licenses stay dormant

The state gaming department on Tuesday said it had issued the last of 10 sports betting licenses reserved for Arizona tribes.

But two remaining licenses earmarked for Arizona sports teams remain dormant. 

Twenty sports betting licenses — 10 for tribes and 10 for local sports teams — were created when Arizona legalized sports wagering two years ago.

All of the licenses for tribes are now in use after state gaming officials awarded the last one available to an operator for the Ak-Chin Indian Community.

But two licenses for pro sports teams are not in use despite interest from the soccer team Phoenix Rising FC.

A gaming department spokesman says there were a number of recent license applications that did not qualify, but identifying those applicants is blocked by state statute.

Phoenix Rising released a prepared statement.

"Phoenix Rising FC was eager to once again apply for an event-wagering license, however 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. We are hopeful there will be another application window soon that will allow us more time to re-apply," said Bobby Dulle, president of Phoenix Rising FC. 

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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.