Even though Arizona is considered by many to be one of the more conservative Southwestern states, it is extremely liberal as far as casinos and gambling in general is concerned. There are more than 20 casinos located in all areas of the state.
Every single casino is situated on Native American land and, in total, there are 15 different Arizona tribes in charge of casino operations. The state of Arizona, that is the regions that are not under Native American control, do not accept casino license applications from anyone. So while there are plenty of opportunities for residents to gamble in Arizona, none of those opportunities are facilitated by the state.
Though Arizona’s gambling laws are interesting, they are more straightforward than those of a large majority of US states.
Apache Gold Hotel-Casino
BlueWater Resort and Casino
Casino del Sol
Cliff Castle Casino
Cocopah Resort Casino
Desert Diamond Casino
Desert Diamond Hotel-Casino
Desert Diamond Casino-West Valley Resort
Fort McDowell Casino
Gila River Casino-Lone Butte
Gila River Casino-Vee Quiva
Gila River Casino-Wild Horse Pass Hotel-Casino
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
Hon-Dah Resort Casino
Talking Stick Resort
Spirit Mountain Casino
Types of Casinos
Though there is a decent quantity of casinos in the state of Arizona, they are all the same type of establishment. As was briefly touched upon before, the casinos that exist in Arizona are all situated on Native American land and run by Native American tribes.
Native American/Tribal Casinos
When we speak of Native American casinos, specifically those in Arizona, it is important that you do not get confused. While these may seem different from the casinos that exist in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, they really aren’t. The only reason they are differentiated is due to the fact that, in Arizona, casinos are only able to exist in Tribal territories.
Of the 20+ casinos in the state, every last one of them are owned and operated by Native American tribes. As for what type of experience you can expect, you will find that Native-run casinos are really identical to those found on the Las Vegas strip. These sites will feature slots, sports betting, table games, and just about every other type of game that you would expect from a brick and mortar casino. Many of the casinos are resort casinos, meaning that, in addition to the casino floor, there are also hotel rooms and other amenities such as spas, shopping, restaurants, and shows.
Of course, it goes without saying that every casino is different, even in Arizona. So while one might feature all sorts of table games and poker action, another might only offer a limited number of table games and slots. Before assuming each and every casino boasts the same offering,
History of Gambling in Arizona
Prior to the late 1980s, Arizona was like many other states in that it did not have single casino. Then, in 1988, the Federal Government passed the “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act” which essentially gave Native American tribes free reign to offer casino games on their own, sovereign land. After the 1988 Act went into law, legal battles began unfolding as Native Americans still had trouble freely operating casinos. By 1993, however, these court battles were settled and many of the 20+ casinos began breaking ground and being built.
Since the early 1990s there have not really been any developments as far as the legality of land-based casinos is concerned. As we move forward, it is not anticipated that the laws surrounding brick and mortar gambling in Arizona will change. Being a conservative state, there is little chance that non-Native operators will be allowed to apply for a casino license.
As for online gambling in the state, it is not strictly illegal but not strictly legal either. To make a long story short, online gambling is readily available in Arizona, however it is not regulated or licensed by the state’s gaming commission.
Delving into the topic of online gambling a bit further, it is worth mentioning that Arizona is one of the few states that very plainly opposes daily fantasy sports. To make things simple, daily fantasy sports are illegal in Arizona unless the entirety of the money players wager is subsequently returned to participants. Basically, if a site collects any money from their offering of daily fantasy sports (and almost all of them do) they are breaking Arizona law. So, for now, you will have to go to another state to participate in this type of online wagering.