Gambling in Arizona is quite liberal, especially for a conservative state. The state has a long history of gambling and racing that dates back 50 years. The establishment of Indian casinos in Arizona is a tenuous story, which started with legal battles between the state and Native American tribes living in the region. There was even an armed standoff between some casino owners and law enforcement. However, the state eventually agreed to compacts with Arizona’s tribes. Today there are 26 tribal casinos in the state.
Now gambling in Arizona is freely available and there’s even a state lottery. The minimum gambling age in Arizona is 18 years old for lottery and bingo, while only Arizonans 21 years and older can play casino games and bet on racing. The estimated casino revenue of Arizona is unknown as casinos aren’t required to publicly release that information. Moreover, online gambling in Arizona is explicitly legal in the state. However, only greyhound racing and horse racing sites can be set up in Arizona.
Gambling in Arizona in Vegas-style casinos is found only on Native American reservations. This means that the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act of 1988 stipulates what casinos in Arizona can offer. Casinos and gambling in Arizona are monitored and regulated by the Arizona Gaming Commission. Furthermore, Arizona’s dog and horse racing tracks are allowed to offer both on-track and off-track betting and taverns can offer simulcast wagering. Let’s take a look at how Arizona gambling laws define and regulate gambling.
Arizona Gambling Laws
Arizona gambling laws allow for casinos on Indian reservations. This is managed through compacts signed between AZ and the tribes in the region. All revenue generated from the casinos is required to be used for tribal governmental and charity purposes. However, for-profit commercial casinos are banned in the state.
Is Gambling Legal in Arizona?
Yes, gambling is legal in Arizona. However, gambling in Arizona is restricted to Native American sovereign land. Most of the 15 tribes in Arizona run Vegas-style casinos where you can find the following types of gambling:
Other forms of gambling in Arizona that are permitted are:
Horse racing betting
Dog racing betting
Arizona Lottery, multistate lottery, and Arizona scratch tickets
Charitable bingo and raffles
Illegal Types of Gambling in Arizona
Arizona gambling laws deem the following forms of gambling illegal:
Daily fantasy sports (DFS)
Online Gambling Arizona USA
Online gambling in Arizona USA is a special case. While there isn’t a clear law expressly prohibiting online gambling, there aren’t any online casinos that operate from within the state. But what you will find is established brick-and-mortar casinos in Arizona offer free play options through their sites. They offer slot games that you’ll find on their casino floor without the risk of losing any money.
For those looking for online gambling Arizona options, you can try the following:
TwinSpires, TVG, and BetAmerica accept horse racing and dog racing pari-mutuel.
Casino del Sol has Double Down Casino
Ak-Chin connects to Harrah’s casino site
Talking Stick Casino’s site
Desert Diamond’s site
List of Casinos in Arizona
To find the best casinos in Arizona, we’re going to have to whittle down the 23 Indian casinos in Arizona. Find a list of casinos in Arizona USA based off the number of slot machines. You’ll also find Arizona poker rooms at these casinos.
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
2,600 slots, poker & variations, hotel, restaurants, entertainment venue
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd
Casino del Sol
1,300 slots, poker & variations, blackjack, bingo
5655 West Valencia Rd.
Twin Arrows Navajo Casino
1,100 slots, blackjack, poker & variations, bingo, hotel, restaurants, entertainment venue
22181 Resort Blvd
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Resort
1,089 slots, video poker, poker & variations, blackjack, keno, bingo, hotel, spa, golf, entertainment, restaurant
15406 North Maricopa Road
Desert West Valley Diamond Casino
1,089 slots, blackjack, poker, bingo, restaurants, entertainment venue
9431 W. Northern Ave.
Desert Diamond Casino Tucson
1,089 slots, poker & variations, blackjack, hotel, entertainment venue, restaurants
7350 S Nogales Hwy
Quechan Casino Resort
1,000 slots, blackjack, poker & variations, roulette, hotel, restaurants, entertainment venue
525 Algodones Rd.
History of Casinos in Arizona
Horse racing and greyhound racing started in the 1950s in Arizona, leading to the subsequent creation of the Arizona Racing Commission in 1958. While it may have had some great years, revenue started to decline when other forms of gambling were legalized. Currently, there are two live racetracks today in the state.
Then in 1980, Arizonans voted to approve the Arizona Lottery, with tickets being sold the next year. The Arizona Lottery also takes part in interstate lottos that include the Powerball and Mega Millions.
The relationship between Arizona and the Native American tribes in the region was quite antagonistic, especially because of the state’s translation of the law. In the early 1990s, the state didn’t want Arizona Indian tribes operating slot parlors. Then-Governor Fife Symington sent the FBI to raid the offending venues. When it came to raiding the Yavapai’s casinos, the tribe blocked the only entrance road to the casino with heavy-duty machinery and large vehicles. What ensued was an eight-hour stand-off. Eventually agents decided to leave the slot machines. This stand-off lasted three weeks.
The tribe’s pleas about the economic benefit of casinos on their reservations found pity with the American audience. Arizona’s Governor was pressured into entering negotiations with the tribes. By 1992 he agreed to compacts with 16 of Arizona’s 22 tribes.
Learn more about casinos in other US States below: