PointsBet and Barstool Sportsbooks Moving In on Yet to Be Launched Arizona Market

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Barstool Sports signage is displayed on an electric vehicle. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images/AFP

The long-awaited Arizona legal sports betting market is still a couple of months away from launch and a final set of draft rules has yet to be presented. But already top-tier betting providers are lining up, waiting on one of the 20 licenses that will be up for grabs in what regulators hope is a robust wagering market.

Caesars was the first to officially signal their interest in an Arizona market thanks to their existing Arizona presence through its Harrah’s brand and the Ak-Chin Indian Community, WynnBET got in on the action thanks to an inking of a partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe July 2 and Kindred announced earlier this year a relationship with the Quechan Tribe that will give them access to the 14th largest state population in the US. Bally’s Corp and the two DFS giants-turned elite betting providers in the US have also aligned themselves with sporting entities in the state.

This week two more national sports betting operators joined the fray for what is shaping up to be a robust and competitive Arizona market. PointsBet on Tuesday signed a partnership deal with the Yavapai-Apache Nation to operate out of the Cliff Castle Casino Hotel and on Wednesday Penn National and their Barstool Sportsbook brand announced an alignment with Phoenix Raceway.

Quick Background on the Arizona Scene

It has only been since April that legal sports betting became a realistic option for Arizona. It was then that Governor Doug Ducey expanded tribal compacts with the state’s tribes and ultimately signed sports betting legislation into law.

The Arizona Department of Gaming, after a slew of hearings and public meetings finally released a draft set of proposed rules Wednesday with the promise to hear from the public Friday. The licensing process will hopefully follow soon after those hearings, thus putting the foot on the gas pedal of an impending launch.

The condensed timeline is on track to meet its September 9 launch date, but anything can happen between now and then. The goal is to have something in place to take advantage of a full NFL season.

More About the PointsBet Announcement

PointsBet, which has quickly elevated itself into the elite brand of sportsbooks operating in the US market will be bringing a wealth of experience with them into the Arizona market. In fact, the Grand Canyon State will represent PointsBet’s 16th licensed US jurisdiction.

The sports betting brand promises a typically top-tier betting experience with the backing of a recognized and trusted national platform. PointsBet promises that the Cliff Castle Casino, which is located between Phoenix and Flagstaff, will be a top brand within the increasingly competitive, yet-to-be-launched Arizona scene.

“PointsBet and our partners at Cliff Castle are proud to begin the process toward offering our differentiated sports betting product and world-class technology to fans all over Arizona,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said via press release. “We welcome the opportunity to quickly and responsibly introduce prospective sports bettors to the customer-focused, market-leading PointsBet experience, where our proprietary technology platform, unrivaled speed, ease of use, and a deep slate of the most betting options in the world will disrupt the market for the better.”

Penn National Bringing Barstool to Arizona

Penn National and its Barstool Sportsbook brand have officially aligned themselves with Phoenix Raceway, therefore giving itself access to the Arizona market when it officially launches. On Wednesday, Barstool became the “exclusive sportsbook of Phoenix Raceway.”

Penn National hasn’t been shy about expanding its reach within the US legal sports betting market. Currently, they have 42 properties in 20 states. The relatively new Barstool Sportsbook is live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Penn National is considered an elite brand that has garnered a fair market share in every jurisdiction they have launched. Arizona, once it goes live should be no different.

“Barstool Sportsbook has proven itself to be a market leader in the jurisdictions where it has launched due to a combination of unique offers and a leading mobile experience,” said Jon Kaplowitz, senior vice president of Penn Interactive, via press release. “This new partnership will allow us to engage a passionate sports fan base in Arizona while having access to a best-in-class sports entertainment facility in Phoenix Raceway.”

The Questions That Remain

For PointsBet and Penn National, there are still a few questions that remain surrounding their market-access news in Arizona. Will the platform launch on time? How will each fare with the intense amount of competition within the market? And perhaps the most important… Will any of the two be in on signing the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL or the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL as legal sports betting partners?

The Arizona legal sports betting market is quickly filling up despite no official licenses being handed out. That is a good thing for bettors in the state, communities that are hoping that jobs will result and tax coffers that figure to be handsomely topped up by a successful platform.