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What comes next as massive Arizona gambling expansion moves toward reality?

Sports betting could start by football season. But there are warnings that more gamblers means more gambling addiction.

PHOENIX — What comes next now that the Arizona Legislature has cleared the way for the state's largest gambling expansion in 20 years? 

With Gov. Doug Ducey expected to sign the bill, 12 News asked three people what the future could look like.

Republican State Sen. T.J. Shope of Coolidge, the Senate sponsor of the gambling legislation, said he expects betting on sports to start by the time the Arizona Cardinals' season starts in the fall.

All the Valley's pro sports teams will have licenses to operate sports wagering businesses. Ten other licenses will go to tribes.

Dustin Gouker of Legal Sports Report has been covering the sports gambling business for six years. He says Arizona did a good job designing the expansion. But he warns that gambling on sports is a business with low-profit margins.

"This is not some giant windfall of new revenue for the state," he said. 

Finally, giving all Arizonans a way to gamble on their mobile phones will create more gambling addicts, said Steve Feinberg, a board member with the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling.

The gambling legislation sets aside money to deal with addiction.

If you or someone you know could have a gambling addiction, here are some resources to seek help: 

- There's a peer support line at https://azccg.org/

- The Arizona Department of Gaming has links to Gamblers Anonymous groups and other resources at https://problemgambling.az.gov/treatment-counseling/gamblers-anon

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