Arizona Gambling Laws: The Complete Guide for 2023

Arizona’s gambling scene, governed primarily by the Arizona Gambling Laws, has long been a focal point of both entertainment and debate. The intricate spectrum of this sector, which encompasses native tribal casinos, horse race betting, and the rapidly evolving domain of online gambling, has seen numerous legal shifts. This article offers an in-depth overview of the main guidelines set by Arizona Gambling Laws, presenting a keen insight into the current legal framework overseeing the state’s gambling industry. It paints a detailed picture, merging tribal agreements, legislative changes, and rising online paradigms, emphasizing the intricate interplay of legal, economic, and sociopolitical aspects within Arizona’s gambling milieu.

Arizona Gambling Laws

Understanding Arizona’s Gambling Rules

  • 🎰 Land-Based Gambling: Arizona has embraced legal land-based gambling. There are 24 tribal casinos in the state, offering class III gaming such as slots, blackjack, baccarat, craps, and other table games. They now also offer land-based sports books and mobile sports betting. Live horse racing betting is also legal in the state.
  • 💻 Online Gambling: Online gambling, including online sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), is legal in Arizona. However, as of now, there are no state-licensed online casino options. 
  • 🎟️ Lottery: The Arizona Lottery offers an array of draw games, including Powerball and Mega Millions. However, online ticket purchases are not currently allowed.
  • 🤝 Charitable Gaming: Charitable games like bingo, raffles, and casino nights are permitted. However, commercial bingo operations outside of Indian reservations are not.
  • 🎫 Sports Betting: Sports betting was launched in Arizona in 2021, with both online and land-based options. The state has issued 20 mobile licenses and 10 land-based-only licenses. A wide variety of sports can be wagered on.
  • 🏠 Home Poker: Poker can be played at home if no one benefits from the game other than their winnings as an individual player. There are 11 principal poker rooms operated by tribal casinos in the state.
  • 🌐 Offshore Gambling: Offshore online casino gaming isn’t explicitly prohibited in Arizona.  However, this falls into a gray law area and could be considered illegal.
  • 🎂 Minimum Age: The minimum gambling age in Arizona is 21 for all forms of gambling.
  • 📖 Legislation: Gambling-related matters are covered by Arizona Revised Statutes ARS 13-3301 et seq. and ARS 5-101 et seq.

Land-Based Gambling in Arizona

The state of Arizona has a rich history of land-based gambling. The legality of such practices has seen considerable shifts throughout the years, culminating in the current situation where tribal casinos and horse race betting serve as primary facets of the industry. Prominent land-based gambling establishments include the Casino Del Sol in Tucson and Turf Paradise, a renowned horse racing track in Phoenix.

Tribal Casinos

Tribal casinos have played an instrumental role in Arizona’s gambling history. Emerged amid controversies and legal confrontations, these institutions have grown to become key players in the industry.

These entities, operated by native tribes under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, contribute significantly to the state’s economy.

1. Talking Stick Resort | Tribe – Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

2. Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort | Tribe – Navajo Nation

3. Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino | Tribe – Gila River Indian Community

Horse Racing Betting

Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing betting has been a long-standing tradition in Arizona. The state has a rich history of horse racing events, and parimutuel wagering on these races has been legal for decades. Racetracks such as Turf Paradise in Phoenix and Rillito Park in Tucson have become popular destinations for horse racing enthusiasts.

The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees horse racing and ensures the integrity of the sport. Off-track betting facilities allow individuals to place bets on races held in Arizona and other locations across the country. Horse racing enthusiasts can enjoy the excitement of wagering on these thrilling events within the boundaries of the law.

Online Gambling Laws

The Arizona online gambling industry is a relatively new addition to the state’s gambling landscape, legalized in the wake of the Gaming Act revisions in 2021. One of the key components of the online gambling laws in Arizona is the provision for sports betting, making it the latest form of legalized gambling within the state. The new legislation authorized both land-based sports betting and online sports betting, providing a boost to Arizona’s gaming industry.

However, this does not mean that all forms of online gambling are permitted. The Gaming Act provisions predominantly focus on sports betting and daily fantasy sports contests. Currently, online casino games are not licensed by the state, with no state-licensed online casinos or poker rooms available. Therefore, individuals wishing to play casino games or poker online have to turn to offshore gambling sites. However, it should be noted that offshore gambling falls into a legal gray area, and such activities could potentially be seen as illegal under state law.

Online Casinos and Poker

Online casinos and poker platforms are not legally regulated within Arizona. As a result, residents seeking online gambling options often turn to offshore platforms. However, it’s important to exercise caution when using these platforms, as they may not adhere to the same level of oversight and player protection measures as regulated sites. Players are advised to research and choose reputable and licensed operators to ensure a safe and fair online gambling experience.

Other Forms of Gambling

In addition to casinos and horse racing, Arizona’s diverse gambling environment also encompasses state-run lotteries and charitable gaming events. These forms of gambling are fully sanctioned and regulated by Arizona state law, ensuring they are conducted fairly and transparently. The lottery offers numerous games with substantial prizes, contributing significantly to state revenue, while charitable gaming provides a valuable fundraising mechanism for nonprofits. These options allow for broader participation and create a well-rounded gambling culture in Arizona, balancing recreational amusement with substantial societal benefits.

Arizona Lotteries

Arizona State Lottery, an official state-run enterprise, offers a variety of games including Powerball, Mega Millions, and Arizona-specific games such as The Pick and Fantasy 5. These operations contribute significantly to the state’s funds for public programs.

Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming in Arizona encompasses activities like bingo and raffles, operated by non-profit organizations for fundraising purposes. These games are regulated under stringent conditions to ensure lawful operation and purpose.

Regulation and Compliance

Arizona’s gambling industry operates under specific statutes and regulations to maintain integrity and protect players. Understanding these regulations is essential for both operators and individuals engaging in gambling activities within the state.

Arizona Revised Statutes

The Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) serves as the main legal framework for all gambling activities in Arizona. Specifically, Title 13, Chapters 33 and 34, and Title 5 provide detailed guidance concerning different aspects of gambling. These include the requirements for obtaining licenses, regulatory controls that govern the operation of gambling activities, and the penalties that can be imposed for non-compliance. These chapters are fundamental in the creation of a transparent, fair, and secure gambling environment in the state, ensuring the activities remain within the scope of the law and promote responsible gambling behavior.

Minimum Gambling Age

Gambling ActivityMinimum Age
Online Sports Betting21
Horse Race Betting18
Lottery Purchase18

Economic Impact of Gambling

Gambling has a significant economic impact on Arizona, generating revenue and taxes for the state. The recent legalization of online sports betting is expected to boost the economic contributions from the gambling industry even further. Projections indicate that Arizona could benefit from increased tax revenue and job creation through this expansion of online gambling.

Tribal Gaming and Regulatory Landscape in Arizona

In Arizona, tribal gaming plays a crucial role in the state’s gambling sector. This was made possible through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, also known as the Act of 1988. This Act was designed to establish a legislative basis for the operation of gaming by federally recognized tribes, fostering economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments.
In Arizona, this translates into 24 tribal casinos scattered across the state, operated by various federally recognized tribes. Each tribe operates under a gaming compact with the state, giving them the exclusive right to conduct casino-style gaming on their tribal lands in exchange for sharing a percentage of the revenue with the state. Casinos run by these tribes provide a wide range of gaming options, including slots, poker, blackjack, and other table games.
The National Indian Gaming Commission, established by the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act of 1988, oversees the regulation of these tribal casinos. Arizona casinos are regulated at the state level by the Arizona Department of Gaming, which ensures that all gambling activities are conducted in accordance with federal and state law.

Arizona Gaming Regulations And Statutory Requirements

Ensuring a fair, secure, and transparent gaming environment, Arizona employs a comprehensive set of regulations in partnership with its indigenous tribes.

Regulatory Oversight

Arizona’s gaming landscape is marked by a strong partnership between the state and its indigenous tribes. Specifically, the legal foundation of the state’s gaming activities lies in the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. In total, 22 tribes are federally recognized in Arizona. Out of these, 16 tribes manage 24 Class III gaming casinos. Interestingly, the other six tribes, while not running their own casinos, can lease their Class III gaming devices to other tribes through a mechanism termed as “transfer agreement.”

The responsibility for ensuring proper regulation of tribal gaming is jointly held by both the state and the tribes. On the one hand, tribes have the authority, via their respective tribal gaming agencies, to regulate all gaming activities in line with their own tribal gaming ordinances. Moreover, they’re responsible for the effective enforcement of the compact and its detailed appendices. Conversely, the Arizona Department of Gaming is charged with monitoring tribal gaming operations, ensuring they align with the stipulations of the tribal-state gaming compact.

It’s worth noting that the model compact became effective in 2003 and witnessed an automatic 10-year extension in 2013. However, a significant development occurred in 2021 when the state and the tribes entered into a renegotiated compact agreement.


Within the Arizona gaming arena, manufacturers and suppliers of gaming devices are subject to state certification fees. Specifically, a fee of $5,000 is applicable initially, followed by a renewal charge of $1,000 every two years. On the other hand, entities providing goods or services (barring legal services) to the tribes for Class III Gaming operations exceeding $10,000 in a single month are charged a state certification fee of $1,500, with a renewal fee of $500 every two years. Notably, individual tribes determine their own tribal licensing fees, which are not expressly mentioned in the tribal-state gaming compacts.

Taxation & Tribal Revenue Sharing

In lieu of the exclusivity granted to Arizona tribes for gaming operations, tribes have agreed to share a portion of their Class III net win with the state. The shared percentages are tiered based on the amount:

  • $0 – $25 million: 1%
  • $25 million – $75 million: 3%
  • $75 million – $100 million: 6%
  • More than $100 million: 8%

The state directs 88% of these contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund, while the remaining 12% benefits local governmental bodies. Tribal revenue is strictly earmarked for specific purposes like funding tribal operations, promoting economic development, supporting charitable endeavors, and aiding local governmental agencies.

Responsible Gaming

Arizona underscores the importance of responsible gaming. A fraction of the funds diverted to the Arizona Benefits Fund is earmarked for responsible gaming initiatives. Key measures include mandatory self-exclusion procedures, prohibition on complimentary alcoholic beverages, stringent advertising restrictions ensuring no direct targeting of minors or those on the self-exclusion list, visible signage for assisting problem gamblers, and a strict age restriction ensuring only those aged 21 and above can gamble at tribal casinos.

Other Regulations

Tribal gaming in Arizona adheres to stringent regulations to ensure fairness and transparency. All gaming devices must undergo testing and certification by an independent, state-certified laboratory. On the anti-money laundering front, tribal casinos must comply with federal U.S. laws. Additionally, all gambling devices and packages containing them must be clearly labeled. Tribes are also governed by federal laws pertaining to political contributions. It’s crucial to note that tribal casinos in Arizona do not extend credit facilities, have unspecified smoking ban regulations, and unequivocally do not accept cryptocurrency.

Sports Betting

2021 heralded a new era in Arizona’s gaming sphere, with legislation greenlighting sports betting. The legislation allows for 20 licenses: ten for the state’s Class III gaming tribes and ten for professional sports entities. Moreover, mobile/online sports betting is permitted, widening the spectrum of sports wagering. Event wagering operators are required to pay a licensing fee of $750,000 post a $100,000 application fee, with an annual renewal fee of $150,000. Similar fees apply to designees who act on behalf of event-wagering operators.

Arizona Gambling Laws Conclusion

As we wrap up, it’s important to note that the evolution of Arizona’s gambling legislation has fostered a vibrant gambling sector, with both terrestrial and digital avenues. This broad spectrum includes tribal casinos, horse racing, state lotteries, and charitable gaming, all offering a myriad of choices for gambling aficionados. While there is still a void in the regulation of online casinos and poker rooms, the recent legislative shift embracing online sports betting has significantly expanded the realm of legally sanctioned digital gambling in the state.

This development signals Arizona’s recognition of the growing trend toward online gaming and its economic potential. With this progressive stance, the state’s gambling scene is poised for even more dynamic changes in the future. Looking ahead, the hope is that this forward-thinking approach will continue to balance both the socioeconomic benefits and the potential challenges posed by the expansion of the gambling industry in Arizona.



The minimum age to gamble in Arizona is 21 for all forms of gambling, including casino games and sports betting. For lottery purchase and horse race betting, the minimum age is 18.

Yes, sports betting was legalized in Arizona in 2021. Both land-based sports betting and online sports betting are legal in the state.

As of now, online casino games and online poker are not licensed by the state of Arizona. While offshore gambling sites offer these games, it should be noted that these sites fall into a legal gray area and could potentially be seen as illegal in the state.

Legal forms of gambling in Arizona include tribal casinos, horse race betting, state-run lottery, charitable gaming, and sports betting.

Yes, all gambling winnings are subject to federal and state taxes in Arizona. Winners are responsible for reporting all of their winnings.