Arizona Sports Betting Handle Reaches $692 Million

Arizona Wildcats Bennedict Mathurin and Dalen Terry Pac-12 Conference.
Bennedict Mathurin #0 and Dalen Terry #4 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrate during the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Sports betting in Arizona witnessed a substantial 40% handle increase from February to March as the state set a new record at $692 million. Data released this week shows that bettors won just $39 million of that money.  

Ted Vogt, the Arizona Department of Gaming Director, explained how the contribution of college basketball and March Madness assisted the state in its road to record-breaking numbers: “March was an exciting month for Arizona event wagering, with major sporting events like NCAA’s March Madness helping set a single month event wagering handle record,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how the industry continues to develop as we finish out the first year of legal event wagering in the coming months.”  

Arizona Sportsbook Profits  

The Department of Gaming commented that sportsbook profited $37.2 million in gross revenue following their federal tax reductions. However, that was after they gifted $18.6 million in free bets. The round total came to $18.7 million in adjusted profits from the seventeen pro sports teams and tribes operating mobile or brick-and-mortar sports books.

Arizona picked up $1.86 million in tax, the most significant monthly gain to date. The state requires an 8% tax on retail bets and 10% on mobile application wagers.  

More than 90% of the wagers were made online, and only two physical betting shops were operating in March. One of which was taking online bets in February and reported back that no physical bets were made in March.  

The Associated Press stated that the free bets – that have been proven to reduce profits and the state’s tax return – will fade out over the next decade. They begin with 20% for the initial two years and then drop to 15% and then 10% before ending altogether during Arizona’s 6th year of legalized sports betting.  

It was a massive comeback for Arizona, who’d taken a significant drop in February following the end of the NFL season. Arizona consumers wagered $492 million ($200 million less than in March). Fantasy sports betting dropped from $1.7 million in entry fees in February to $1.3 million.