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Arizona Department of Gaming Report Showcases Strong Industry with Room to Grow

Having recently released its FY2023 Department Annual Report, it’s clear to see that the gambling industry is thriving in the state of Arizona. Being the state’s most populated city by a huge margin, residents of Phoenix are, naturally, major contributors to the high levels of gambling activity in the Copper State. Still, regardless of quite how big the industry has become in such a short time, there’s plenty of room to grow both in terms of the industry’s offering in Arizona and the tax revenues that the state can reap.

Strong numbers for sportsbooks and tribal gaming

Just about every type of gambling is available in some form across Arizona. Horse racing, sports betting, poker tournaments, casino gaming, and fantasy sports are all easily accessed by the state’s residents. The introduction of event wagering and fantasy sports over the last handful of years has created jobs that amount to over $530,000 in expenditure for these companies over the last year, as well as $6.1 billion in gross event wagering bets placed. Since betting opened in 2021, over $14 billion in total wagers have been placed, per CronkiteNews.

For now – particularly when it comes to land-based and online sportsbooks – the state isn’t getting very much by way of taxation. Free bets can be written off by providers. While this is a practice that will be phased out over the next four years, for now, it limits the potential tax revenue for the already rather low tax percentages of Arizona. For now, privilege fees are ten percent for online bookmakers and eight percent for land-based sportsbooks. There’s certainly room for growth here in terms of state taxation.

As for the other main arm of gambling, casino gaming, tribal venues continue to do exceedingly well. For the state, under the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, this means receiving quarterly contributions based on the class of the casinos and their win revenues. At the start of 2024, 16 tribes hosted 21 casinos, while six tribes didn’t run any such venues. In 2023, those venues gave $154 million in contributions to the state, which goes to the Instructional Improvement Fund, Wildlife Conservation Fund, Tourism Fund, and Trauma & Emergency Services Fund.

Room for growth in the Arizona market

The very clear paths for growth are in increased taxation and introducing the final leg of gambling. Online casino gaming proves to be very popular and lucrative for states anywhere it pops up. In the US, only a handful of states regulate this part of iGaming, but north of the border, only one province does so. In Ontario, iGaming is big business. The province boasts roughly double the population of Arizona, and it saw $11.9 billion in 2023/24 Q2 wagers. This activity greatly comes down to how well-regulated and open the market is, as showcased by casinobonusca.

Allowing for all kinds of qualified platforms has created a highly competitive space. Within this space, user-friendly bonuses like no-deposit free spins, no-deposit bonuses, and $1 deposit bonuses have become commonplace. From there, reviewed and trusted sites offer thousands of slots, table games, and live casino games. The games are very popular, but the obvious underlying draw is the convenience of these sites.

Anyone can sign up, verify their account, and then sit back and listen to the PhoenixFM playlist from the comfort of their own home. Plus, up in Ontario, the annual tax rate on the iGaming market is 20 percent, which is hailed as being rather low globally. Were Arizona to open up to online casino gaming, be it via international companies or just for tribal casino runners, state tax revenue could increase drastically – especially if the tax rates get an acceptable bump.

The gambling industry is going strong in Arizona, but it could be even more beneficial to the state if online casino gaming and a higher tax rate were introduced.

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