Today — April 15, 2021 — Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that legalizes sports betting, fantasy sports betting, and other off-reservation forms of gambling on a bipartisan vote. In fact, without strong support from Democrats, HB2772 and its Senate mirror bill would have died. More Republicans voted “no” than Democrats; I was one of only four Democrats who voted no. I still have serious concerns about the public health consequences of widespread gambling (particularly smart-phone-based gambling) and about the privacy of user data. This deal with the governor will allow the tribes to add online gaming and more brick-and-motor casinos with renewal of the gaming compact.
The following blog post and video were originally published on Facebook on February 10, 2021.
HB2772 is a bill legalizing fantasy sports betting and event wagering. This bill is more than 40 pages long and has a five page amendment.
Why is it so long and complicated? Because it represents a dramatic increase in gambling, particularly mobile device gambling in Arizona.￼ This bill legalizes gambling outside of the casinos and beyond lottery tickets. HB2772 is Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to “modernize gaming”. OK, I have been preaching that businesses and industries need to reinvent themselves to survive COVID. The past is gone, and they need to rethink their business models for the post pandemic world. HB2772 is the gaming industry reinventing itself by shifting to other types of legal betting, more gambling locations (off tribal lands), mobile device gambling, and sports betting. (What could go wrong?)