Arizona has been more ‘gambling friendly’ than some other states in the U.S., and already has some permitted gambling platforms that are available to players as far as land based gambling is concerned. The states has permitted Class III Gaming as far back as 1988 when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted by Congress which put into place federal regulations regarding Indian Gaming, with much of the regulatory tasks being handled by the State of Arizona in adherence to Arizona Gambling Laws.
The 16 Indian tribes which have partnered with the State of Arizona in Class III Gaming offer a variety of gambling options for players, including land based casinos that provide electronic gaming devices such as Keno, lottery, pari-mutual wagering, off track betting, as well as horse race and dog race betting. As of 2003 Class III Blackjack also became an allowed form of gaming and an official part of the AZ online gambling laws.
Laws Concerning Online Gambling In Arizona
Arizona gambling law does not specifically outlaw online gambling. In Arizona, gambling refers to the act of giving up or risking something of value for an opportunity to secure a benefit from a contest or game of skill or chance or a future contingent event. Benefiting from gambling is a class 1 misdemeanor offense. A person engaging as a player in an illegal gambling activity can be charged with benefiting from gambling if he or she knowingly obtains any benefit from the illegal gambling activity. Anyone who provides advice or assistance for the organization, operation, supervision, management, direction or financing of an illegal gambling activity can be charged with promotion of gambling, a felony offense. Felony offenses carry a jail term of more than 1 year.
It is currently illegal to operate or play at an online gambling site that is located in Arizona. The only legal online gambling options for AZ players at this point are the legal Arizona online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks which are licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States. There are several secure and reputable options which we recommend throughout this guide that provide a very safe Arizona online gambling environment that is legally licensed and certified, and closely monitored through strict regulation.
Arizona Social Gambling Laws
Arizona gambling law permits social gambling. Social gambling refers to gambling that is not run as part of a business or operated for profit. The players must compete against each other on equal terms – each must have an equal chance of winning or losing. There can be no rake. The benefit of gambling must be limited to the money wagered and nothing else. All players must be at least 18 years or older. Home poker games are legal in Arizona if these conditions are met. However home poker games can run afoul of Arizona gambling law if
- the players have to pay any form of cover charge or fee to participate
- the host rakes the pot or gets a share of the money bet or won
- the players have to spend a minimum amount on food or drinks
- the host charges for any gaming equipment including gambling chips, chairs, poker tables and other game accessory.
Arizona Pari-mutuel Gambling Laws
Pari-mutuel wagering is legal in the state. In the 1950s horse racing, dog racing and charitable gambling were legalized in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Racing oversees horse and dog racing in the state. Off track betting is legal in Arizona. However state based online betting on races is not legal. Players do have the legal offshore Arizona sports betting sites and racebooks for participating on legal online horse race betting.
State Lottery Gambling In Arizona
The state lottery was approved by a statewide public initiative in November 1980. The referendum was passed by a slim margin. Subsequent referendums received more support and in 2002 nearly 73% of the voters voted in favor of extending the lottery for another 10 years. In 2012 a piece of legislation was passed which extended the lottery to 2035. In most states, the minimum age for participating in the state lottery is 18. In two states the minimum age is 21 and Arizona is one of them. The state lottery is a member of the multi-state lottery association.
Arizona Indian Tribe Gambling Laws
In the early 1990s, the Indian tribes in the state began asking for permission to convert their bingo halls into casino. The tribes went on to install slot machines without any compacts with the state. This lead to a legal battle and a federal court held that the state must negotiate with the tribes. Subsequently in 1992 the state started signing compacts with the Indian tribes. In 2002 the voters were asked to vote on whether or not to extend the compacts. The voters voted in favor of extending the compacts. Presently all but one of the 22 Indian tribes in the state have compacts with the state. Some of the Indian tribes operate bingo halls but most of them operate casinos and these casinos offer poker.
The Tohono O’odham Nation wants to build a 225,000 square foot gaming facility in the town of Glendale. The project received the green light from the Federal government as well as state and federal courts. However in September 2013 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block the project. The bill is yet to be taken up in the Senate.
Arizona State Based Online Gambling Laws
Arizona is one of the few states that have addressed the issue of state based online gambling. Online gambling is permitted in Arizona. One can play online poker in Arizona without the fear of being arrested. However there is a catch – all forms of state based online gambling can only be done for entertainment purposes. Hence, online casino or poker gambling using real money is out of question. There is another restriction to participating in state based online gambling – no player should have an advantage over another. This means that state based online gambling for real money is not legal in Arizona. However, players can opt for the legally licensed and regulated Arizona online poker sites and legal sports betting sites accepting AZ players which are located outside of the US for legal real money gambling options.
Federal Laws Concerning Online Gambling in Arizona
Presently USA federal gambling laws do not prohibit participating in online gambling. The two federal Acts that are associated with online gambling – the Wire Act and the UIGEA Bill of 2006 do not ban or prohibit online poker or casino gambling. This means that US players are free to participate in online gambling at legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites which are located outside of the USA, or in states which have legalized online gambling for their residents and visitors, such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Arizona Gambling Laws
Players who want to review the official Arizona gambling laws can visit this site: Arizona State Legislature. Here you’ll find the official laws and statutes in their legislative format.
FAQS for Arizona Gambling Laws
What Are The Consequences Of Illegal Gambling In The State Of Arizona?
In Arizona, if you have been caught benefitting in some way or another with illegal and unlicensed gambling activities that can result in a class 1 misdemeanor offense. For anyone who is caught working for an illegal or unregulated gambling enterprise in either operation, supervision, direction, management, financing, or in any other capacity, that person can be charged with a “promotion of gambling” felony charge that carries a jail term of more than 1 year.
What Is Social Gambling And What Makes It Different From The Other Illegal Forms Of Gambling?
Social gambling is a special law that permits gambling in social settings under certain conditions. To remain legal, these games must be played by players that are all 18 years or older, and the game must be limited to the money that is wagered and no more. The house can’t rake the pot and the owners can’t charge a cover fee or any fees related to any gambling equipment. The main difference between this and other illegal forms of gambling entertainment is the attempt at profit. The host/owner of the private dwelling where the social gambling is taking place must not be primarily focused on making a profit of any kind.
What Is Pari-Mutuel Wagering?
Often used in horse and greyhound racing, this is a type of betting where all the bets are placed in a pool and the winnings are divided up amongst all the winners. You’re placing a bet against all the other players instead of a bookmaker or the house. Pari-mutuel gambling is typically allowed on the state level because horse racing and greyhound racing is considered a “game of skill” rather than a “game of chance” which is usually illegal in most states.
How Old Must I Be To Play The Lottery In Arizona?
There are only two states in the entire country that require the age of playing the state run lottery to be higher than 18. One of those states is Arizona, where you are required to be at least 21 years of age to play.
Can I Gamble Online From Websites That Are Based In Arizona?
Arizona is one of the very few states that have addressed this issue. Engaging in state based online gambling is 100% legal in the state of Arizona but you can only do so for entertainment devoid of any real money transactions. Although these games have been allowed at the state level with no exchanges of money, there is still no legal regulation around the financial practices that are required for gambling transactions. While playing poker online just for fun without real money bets is totally legal, playing in real money games from state authorized establishments is still out of the picture. Arizona residents can still seek real money online gambling games from legally regulated offshore sites without any legal problems at all.
**This site is intended to provide information, and is not intended to provide any legal services or professional interpretations of any laws or statutes. We are not lawyers and are not trained to provide such services.