Arizona's Online Gambling Laws 2024
Written into law on September 13th, 1961 by President Kennedy, The Federal Wire Act of 1961 was also known as the Interstate Wire Act. It was written to prohibit any businesses in the United States from transmitting any types of wagers or gambling information through the use of wire communications from in or out of state and remains one of three primary federal USA gambling laws. It was a time where wire communications were highly used by people all around the country and before the internet was invented. This page was created to explain to you the legal details of the law and how they have changed over the years to meet more modern technological demands in US online gambling legality.
Is Online Gambling Legal In Arizona?
Arizona gambling law does not specifically outlaw online gambling, but it doesn't provide for any domestic options to participate in the pastime, either.
As a result, the only legal online gambling options for AZ players are currently those offered by legitimate Arizona online casinos, AZ online poker rooms, and Arizona online sportsbooks which are licensed, regulated and located outside of the United States.
Playing at these sites – so long as you're at least 18 years of age – violates no state or US gambling laws.
There are several secure and reputable options recommended throughout this guide that provide safe Arizona online gambling environments. These operators are legally licensed and certified, and they're closely monitored via strict regulation and industry watchdogs to ensure fair iGaming practices.
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 a profit.
The players must compete against each other on equal terms - each must have an equal chance of winning or losing, and there can be no house entity that takes a cut or a "rake."
Thus, things like home poker games are legal in Arizona if these conditions are met. Most states have similar (if not identical) social gaming laws.
Arizona Pari-Mutuel Gambling Laws
Pari-mutuel wagering is legal in Arizona, so you can bet on horses. In the 1950s, horse racing and dog racing were legalized in Arizona. However, greyhound racing is no longer offered in the state.
The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees horse racing in the state, and you can place bets at the horse tracks themselves or at any number of OTBs (off-track betting venues).
You can bet on horses online if you live in Arizona, but only if you do so at the most reputable international sportsbooks operating overseas. These sites offer racebooks with daily horse odds from tracks all around the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and more.
State Lottery Gambling In Arizona
The Arizona Lottery was approved by a statewide public initiative in November 1980. The referendum was passed by a slim margin, though subsequent referenda received more support.
In 2002, nearly 73% of residents 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 a few states, though, the minimum age is 21, and Arizona is one of them. Interstate lotteries, like the Powerball and Mega Millions, are allowed in AZ.
Arizona Tribal Gambling Laws
In the early 1990s, the Indian tribes in Arizona received state permission to convert their bingo halls into Class II and Class III casinos. However, the state deferred, and the local 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 per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA, 1988).
Subsequently, in 1992, AZ started signing compacts with the Indian tribes. In 2002, voters were asked to decide whether or not to expand the compacts, which passed the referendum.
Presently, 16 federally recognized Arizona Indian tribes have compacts with the state, and most venues are proper Class III casinos with all the games you expect. There are currently 26 tribal casinos in AZ, though tribes are not allowed to offer online casino games.
Federal Online Gambling Laws Concerning Arizona
Presently, there are no USA federal gambling laws that prohibit participating in online gambling. The two federal mandates that are associated with online gambling – the Wire Act and the UIGEA – do not ban or limit access to the pastime in any way.
As a result, Arizona players who are at least 18 years of age are free to wager and win real money at legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites that are located outside of the USA.
These federal laws are limited only to gaming operators and banking institutions that are based in the United States, and they do not criminalize individual gamblers. This is why it is entirely safe to use any reputable online betting site like those listed on this page.
Resources For Arizona Gambling Laws
Players who want to review the official Arizona gambling laws can read them entirely at the government's official online portal for the Arizona Revised Statutes. The section in question is 13-3301 et seq., which you can find here.
For the AZ laws regarding pari-mutuel horse racing betting, you can find detailed information in Title 5 of the same legal document.
FAQs for Arizona Gambling Laws
What are the consequences for illegal gambling in Arizona?
In Arizona, if you have been caught operating or contributing to any unlicensed gambling activities, you can be hit with a “promotion of gambling” felony charge that carries a jail term of more than one year.
However, these laws are targeted at those who facilitate unlawful gambling, not individual gamblers themselves.
Still, there is no reason to participate in AZ black market gambling when you can safely and legally play with overseas operators who offer hundreds of games, thousands of daily betting lines, and guaranteed payouts.
What makes social gambling different from other types of gambling?
Social gambling is legal in Arizona because it lacks the distinctions that qualify gambling enterprises as actual businesses.
The main difference between social gambling and illegal forms of gambling entertainment is that there is no house entity for the former. The host of the private dwelling or club where social gambling takes place cannot take a cut of the action, and all winnings must be risked – and paid out to – the players themselves.
What is pari-mutuel wagering?
Often used in horse and greyhound racing, pari-mutuel betting is a type of gambling activity where all bets are placed in a pool. Payouts are then divided up amongst all the winners.
Essentially, with this pool-based betting system, you’re placing a bet against all the other players instead of a bookmaker or the house.
Pari-mutuel gambling is typically allowed at the state level because wagers are not house-banked and the operators do not have the opportunity to earn more or less money depending on the results. They take a fixed percentage, and all remaining monies are paid out to winning tickets.
How old do I have to be to play the lottery in Arizona?
Arizona is somewhat unique among states in that residents must be at least 21 years old to play the lottery. In most states with lotteries, players only have to be 18.
Of course, if you're between 18 and 20 years of age, you can play various lottery games at any respected offshore gambling site listed here.
Can I game online with websites that are based in Arizona?
No. Online simulated gambling – where no money is risked or won – is legal per AZ laws, but this isn't really gambling at all.
For real-money online casino games, online poker, online sports betting, online bingo, and online horse racing betting, you must use a legitimate international gambling site like any service listed here.
*** Disclaimer: This site is intended only to provide cursory information about Arizona gambling laws. We do not provide legal advice or legal services of any kind. If you need professional guidance about Arizona gambling laws, please contact a qualified lawyer who specializes in the field.