Arizona sports gamblers bet a record $692 million in March

Arizonans increased their sports betting by more than 40% in March from the previous month to $692 million, more than they have spent at any time since the pastime became legal last year.

Sports players have recovered all but $39 million of that money, according to data released Monday.

Games Department Director Ted Vogt attributed the growth to the March Madness college basketball tournament and other major events.

The Arizona Department of Gaming said the sportsbooks generated $37.2 million in gross profits after federal taxes. But that was before they gave away $18.6 million in free bets designed to get state residents into the gambling habit under the new law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey the last year.

That left $18.7 million in adjusted profits for the 17 professional sports teams and tribes that run mobile or physical sportsbooks. The state collected $1.86 million in taxes, its biggest monthly gain to date. The state levies an 8% tax on retail bets and 10% on mobile app bets.

Almost all bets were made online, and only two physical betting sites were operating last month. An operation that took bets online in February reported no activity in March.

Free bets that eat away at profits and state taxes will phase out over the next few years. They start at 20% of gross receipts the first two years then drop to 15% then 10% before ending in the sixth year of legalization of sports betting.

March’s numbers were a big rebound after February’s take dropped with the end of the professional football season. Arizonans had wagered $492 million that month, with sports betting grossing $24.4 million in gross profits before free bets. February’s $6.9 million in adjusted profits brought the state $670,000 in tax revenue.

January revenue was $563 million, with profits of $19.6 million after free bets and state taxes of $1.9 million.

The state also reported that fantasy sports betting, which was also legalized under the new law, fell from $1.7 million in entry fees in February to just $1.3 million a month. last. Two of the eight companies in this market recorded no revenue last month. The remaining companies made $149,000 in profit after paying the winners. The state charges 5% tax and brought in just under $4,500.

Fantasy Sportsbooks launched in late August and Full Sportsbooks on September 9th.

Between the launch of sports betting and the end of 2021, players have wagered more than $1.7 billion and sports betting has made around $60 million in profits. This led to taxes paid to the state of $6.1 million.

The newly legalized sports betting was part of a deal brokered by the governor’s office that allowed Native American tribes in the state to get 10 of the available licenses and professional sports teams to get the other 10. Tribes also greatly expand the type of game they can offer. in tribal casinos.

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