Arizona regulator hears from stakeholders on skins, data, etc.


The Arizona Gaming Department reiterated Friday that it continues to aim for a September 9 group launch of sports betting platforms and retail outlets, and said it hopes the process of settlement was completed by mid-July. This information, and more, was released during a virtual stakeholder meeting on the draft state event betting rules.

More than 90 interested parties logged on to the meeting, but FanDuel’s Director of Government Affairs Andrew Winchell and a few others took the lead in offering advice and asking for clarification on everything from the use of official data of the league to the number of skins per operator authorized. whether or not in-game bets will be allowed. FanDuel is a partner of the Phoenix Suns for sports betting.

The general consensus among potential operators and professional sports teams – who will be able to apply for “event betting operator licenses” – is that all favor a single skin per licensee and are in agreement with a group launch. September 9. ADG Director Ted Vogt said the idea behind a group launch date was for no one operator to slow down the launch process for others. He also indicated that the current public comment period, which opened on June 15 and ends on June 21, will not be the only opportunity for input.

“You will see significant changes to the rules based on the feedback we are awaiting today and the written process we are keeping open until 11:59 pm on June 21,” Vogt said at the start of the meeting.

Responding to concerns from Senator Sally Ann Gonzales, who said she thought the public comment period was far too short, Vogt later said in the meeting: “There will be a second round of public comments. after updating the rules. “

Friday’s meeting was the first of two for event betting stakeholders. A second meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. local time on June 21. The ADG is also holding two meetings to gather feedback from stakeholders on the proposed daily fancy regulations.

ADG’s schedule is aggressive

Since Arizona’s new sports betting law comes with an emergency clause, the ADG may suspend some of the usual timelines when developing the rules and preparing for the launch. That said, launching operators by September 9, less than five months after Gov. Doug Ducey signed the law, is an aggressive timeline. Only two states out of twenty US jurisdictions offering live and legal sports betting have been able to go from legality to life in less than five months: Indiana and Iowa. The first three to go live after the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi, did not require new laws allowing sports betting.

Vogt has promised updated deadlines on licensing and rules in the coming weeks.

In addition to these key issues, stakeholders addressed detailed questions regarding official league data, in-game betting, the use of credit cards to fund player accounts, auditing, payment of bets. winners, etc. Some concerns will just require the language to be cleaned up to properly express intent, while others will likely result in larger changes when the next set of rules is released.

What stakeholders want to clarify or change

Here’s a look at some of the discussions:

Official league data: In most state laws, a sports governing body must request that official league data be used to settle certain bets (typically in-game bets), otherwise operators can use a data provider of their choice. The Arizona draft rule calls for the opposite and allows operators to ask do not use official league data. This process could become cumbersome for both operators and the ADG, as not all official league data providers have data for all events – think table tennis or chess – and in some cases, as with the Oscars or the Heisman Trophy, there is no “” data available at all.

Stakes in play: The rules currently give bettors the “one-sided” right, Winchell said, to void bets before the start of an event. This is a common practice in pari-mutuel, where the odds change until the time of posting. This is not standard in fixed odds betting, and Winchell requested that the rule be changed. Winchell also said that there is a “presumption that all tickets should be considered final at the start of the event” which would make it impossible to set up in-game bets. ADG’s Vogt made it clear that this was not the intention of the rule and that stakeholders could expect a change in the future.

Funding of player accounts: Credit cards are not specifically listed as a means of funding player accounts, and consultant John Pappas has asked the ADG to reconsider this position and include credit cards in the list of permitted means of funding. an account. Winchell also requested that the language be massed to reflect that all authorized forms of payment are used for funds player accounts rather than being used for each actual bet, as current language suggests.

Payment of winning bets / withdrawals: ADG took advantage of stakeholder insight on this topic, after Rhea Loney, vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs at Penn National Gaming, called for changes to how operators will keep ADG informed of player surveys. There are times, Loney said, when a payment or withdrawal can be delayed because fraud is suspected. In this case, the operator will alert a player of a delay, indicating that the bet is under review. “If we think it reaches the level of suspicious activity, we won’t tell the player until we talk to ADG about it,” Loney said.

How the racetrack / OTB licenses will work

Arizona’s new law allows a total of 20 “event betting operator” licenses – the equivalent of a primary license in other jurisdictions. Ten of these licenses are reserved for professional sports franchises and 10 for tribal entities. A key looming question is how the ADG will determine which 10 of Arizona’s 22 gaming tribes to license. This question did not receive a direct answer on Friday.

There will also be 10 limited event betting operator licenses available for racetracks and OTBs. It appears that in addition to getting a license, tracks and OTBs will also need to partner with an event betting operator in order to offer retail sports betting. There seemed to be a question as to how these types of partnerships would work when Dave Auther, representing Arizona Downs, asked, “What would make a primary licensee contract with us?” Money? Good will? Friendship?”

The answer is not clear, but whether it’s partnering with a primary licensee – say the PGA or its sports betting operator DraftKings – or finding its own operator, racetracks and OTBs. would still be in a situation where an agreement would have to be reached. Current regulations appear to limit the number of potential partners to 20 rather than allowing leads or OTBs to seek out a partner that is not yet state approved.


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