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Arizona to take applications for new sportsbook licenses starting Feb. 16

State gaming officials say they’ll soon open a Feb. 16-March 4 window for additional tribes, pro sports teams and event venues to apply for a license to take bets on sporting events.

Four of Arizona’s 20 sportsbook licenses are currently not in use.

Half of the available licenses are earmarked for tribes and the others are for pro sports teams or venues.

"Phoenix Rising FC intends to apply for one of the available event wagering licenses reserved for Arizona Sports Franchises by the Arizona Department of Gaming," said Phoenix Rising President Bobby Dulle in a prepared statement. "As the highest-level professional soccer franchise in Arizona, Rising believes it is well positioned to be awarded a license this year."

The state last awarded a sportsbook license in August. It went to an operator for the Ak Chin Indian Community, which is not currently listed as an event wagering partner of the gaming department.

Those approved for a license get six months to start taking bets or the license goes back to the state.

The application cost is $100,000. But the application fee can be credited to the $750,000 price tag for an initial license, if the applicant is approved.

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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.