CHANDLER, Ariz — Sports betting is officially legal in Arizona and launches on September 9 to coincide with the start of the NFL season.
We've already seen several teams and even the Phoenix Open announce plans to launch their own sportsbooks.
What is a sportsbook exactly?
"Sportsbooks are areas where you can watch the game, get food, and beverages and make wagers," Dominic Orozco said. He's the Chief Strategic Marketing Officer for Gila River Hotels and Casinos. "The wagering will not only be in-person but there will be a kiosk fashion if you’re well versed."
He's talking about the sportsbooks that will open soon at all three of Gila River Hotels and Casinos' locations, including Wild Horse Pass Casino.
"Sports betting is predominantly an emotional wagering sport, you'll find people will wager on their favorite teams but if you’re really good at it, and looking at odds, there are so many factors you can look at," Orozco added.
Sports betting is something you can do on your phone, from your couch, or anywhere in Arizona!
But Orozco said if you’re a beginner, you should probably go to the casino.
"The beauty of coming in person is you’re able to have that interaction and ask live questions, we will also have tutorials because sports betting is new to this market."
Also, the Arizona Cardinals will be the first NFL team to have a retail sportsbook in their stadium by 2022.
Sports betting isn't the only gambling expansion Arizona is experiencing.
Popular Las Vegas-style table games are now available at Wild Horse Pass Casino, so you can skip the five-hour road trip.
"This is identical to Vegas," Richard Strafella, Chief Operations Officer for Gila River Hotels and Casinos said. "We introduced digital gaming we never had before. We have 15 additional tables that are now truly Las Vegas-style games to include craps roulette and baccarat."
The added tables were introduced on Friday.
"Folks were lining up, waiting for games to open up so they could be the first to play here," Strafella added. "The crowds have been nonstop."
He said the casino has an entirely different feel to it now.
"The energy here is just unbelievable."
The gambling world changed in 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a ban on sports betting. It wasn’t until April of this year that Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill allowing a major expansion of gambling in Arizona after years of back and forth with Tribal leaders.
"The compact expired and an amended compact was signed," Strafella explained. "At that time tribes asked and met with Ducey to see if they could introduce these new games also to include sportsbooks."
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