The numbers just don’t lie, Arizonans are absolutely smitten with sports betting with more than $11 billion in wagers since it became legal in 2021.
Arizona is two years into the world of sports betting and participation isn’t slowing down. Betters have risked $3.2 billion dollars in the first six months of 2023.
“The numbers tell us that Arizona’s probably one of the healthiest sports betting markets in the country,” said Steve Bittenbender, an analyst for betarizona.com.
He says a proliferation of sports betting apps and onsite sportsbooks popping up around the Valley has led to an explosion of action.
“Sporting events that really attract the betters are pro football and pro basketball, that’s what really drives it,” said Bittenbender.
The data certainly supports that. According to the numbers, the next three to four months will deliver the year’s highest revenues. So far the state has snagged a huge chunk of that too at around $50 million since betting began. The lion’s share of all the bets are being made from our phones.
It makes it too easy, all you got to do is push a button and there it is, said Enrique Sierra.
While Sierra and Mo Jones have downloaded plenty of the apps. It hasnt kept them out of retail locations like Fan Duel at the Footprint Center or Ceasars next door at Chase Field.
Actually getting the physical cash right in your hand, it brings a little bit more joy to it, said Jones.
With betting only going up and up, so are calls to hotlines from folks looking for help. In fact, one study by the National Council of Problem Gambling showed around 16% of online gamblers met the clinical criteria for a gambling disorder. Despite the downsides, experts like Bittenbender say the risk for the state has been well worth the reward.