When Did Sports Betting Become Legal in Arizona?

If you’re considering wagering on sports in Arizona, it’s important to know when sports betting became legal in Arizona. The good news is sports betting is now legal in Arizona, though the regulations surrounding it remain a bit harsh compared to other states. Here’s a quick overview of when and how sports betting became legal in Arizona.

1972 To 1976

In the mid-to-late ’70s, many states introduced legal sports wagering. It started slowly. Rhode Island became the first state to legalize sports betting in April 1972. About a year later, New Jersey followed suit. In May 1973, Nevada and Delaware followed suit. In November 1974, California became the first state to legalize sports betting and later that year, Oregon did the same. In December 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the bill that would make a major change to sports wagering in the United States, officially legalizing it.

1975 To Present

Since then, other states have followed suite. As of May 2018, 48 states have officially legalized sports betting. However, this doesn’t mean that all states are able to accept wagers. Six states have outright prohibitions against sports betting. These are Arkansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It’s also worth noting that in 1994, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act made it illegal for states to prosecute sports fans for wagering on their favorite team. However, it doesn’t protect individuals from being prosecuted by other states. In April 2018, New Jersey residents hoping to wager on the Boston Red Sox were met with a warning that the action was against the law in the state.


It’s important to note that while many states have legalized sports betting, it still remains a bit of a gray area. You can’t simply walk into a casino and place a wager on your favorite team. To do so, you’ll need to access an online betting site, register with the site, and then place your bet. However, as long as you’re not violating any laws and are acting within the legal boundaries of the state, you have every right to wager on sports. It’s also worth noting that in 2019, the NCAA considered making collegiate basketball bets illegal. However, they decided against it. Soon, the decision may become obsolete since the Supreme Court has agreed to review a case centered around the legality of sports betting by NCAA members. If the court rules that sports betting is illegal in that case, it may become impossible for schools to continue their partnership with sportsbooks. The case is set to be heard in the fall of 2021.

For those looking to wager on sports in Arizona, it’s important to know the legal boundaries and restrictions surrounding it. While some states have made it easier to wager on sports, it still remains a bit of a hassle. The most efficient and legal way to wager on sports in Arizona is by using an offshore sportsbook. With offshore sportsbooks, you don’t have to register with the state and can avoid most of the legal hassles. In the future, hopefully more states will follow suit and make sports betting easier to engage in.