BetMGM Sportsbook Roars Into Arizona With Arizona Cardinals Partnership

Written By Derek Helling on August 9, 2021
betmgm sportsbook arizona

With one powerful motion, BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona positioned itself to be king of the Arizona sports betting jungle. On Monday, BetMGM announced new partnerships with not only the state’s premier sports betting interest but also one of the largest tribal gaming entities in AZ as well.

Combined, the collaborations with the Arizona Cardinals and Gila River Hotels & Casinos could set up BetMGM to be the market share leader in AZ. That’s assuming regulatory approval and the plan to capitalize on the exposure pans out.

BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona is on its way

According to a press release from BetMGM, the new partnerships cover both retail and online betting in AZ, pending regulatory approval. The Arizona Cardinals and Gila River have been partners for years already.

“Arizona sports fans are extremely passionate and we’re confident they’ll enjoy the BetMGM experience,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals represent the state’s premier casino destinations and sports franchise, making them the ideal partners for us.”

The Gila River Indian Community operates three casinos near AZ cities.

  • Lone Butte, close to Chandler
  • Vee Quiva, near Laveen
  • Wild Horse Pass, close to Chandler

While BetMGM will enjoy exposure to a lot of Arizonians there, the more direct access to sports fans will be around State Farm Stadium. The release says there are plans for a retail book in or near the venue “in time for the 2022 NFL season.”

That means bettors could see brick-and-mortar BetMGM books at all three Gila River casinos before the same at State Farm. The release says that custom sportsbooks at all three properties are set to open “near football season.”

However, Cardinals fans should expect to witness a lot of advertising for BetMGM at the stadium in the meantime. That should expand to the Cardinals’ digital properties, like social media channels. That’s assuming everything goes according to plan, of course.

Could BetMGM go live online on Sept. 9?

Currently, the AZ Dept. of Gaming is accepting and considering license applications. The Dept. plans to announce its first set of qualified applicants on Monday, Aug. 16. Then, it will name actual licensees on Aug. 27, should the Dept. meet its timeline goals.

On that date, bettors could find out whether the BetMGM, the Cardinals, and Gila River are among those set up to launch at the earliest opportunity. Right now, that earliest date coincides with the beginning of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Upon license approval, BetMGM could start installing its signage at State Farm as early as Aug. 28. Visitors to the Cardinals app and website might also start seeing marketing on that date as well.

Although Cardinals fans probably won’t be able to put down bets in-person at games this season, BetMGM will be the brand the NFL team pushes for them to use in placing their online wagers. Why is this such a big deal for BetMGM?

NFL betting is by far the cash cow of the US sports betting industry. Thus, getting an operator deal with one of the league’s 32 franchises is quite valuable. Combining that with the presence at the Gila River casinos, BetMGM might be starting out in AZ with the equivalent of a 1st and 5.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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