Arizona Cardinals Announce First NFL Stadium Sportsbook, BetMGM to Operate

By | August 9, 2021

The Arizona Cardinals are flying towards becoming the first NFL team to incorporate a sportsbook into their stadium. 

Arizona Cardinals BetMGM sportsbook
State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, is a go-to venue for major NFL and college football games. The domed facility in Phoenix is set to become home of a sportsbook next year. (Image: Getty)

The Cardinals, BetMGM, and Gila River Hotels and Casinos announced partnership plans today to build four sports betting venues in the Phoenix area. The news was highlighted by State Farm Stadium, home to the Cardinals, being the site of one of the sportsbooks.

BetMGM is the sports betting unit of MGM Resorts, born out of a partnership between the casino company and Entain Holdings. Entain, formerly GVC, is an international sports betting firm that is publicly traded in London. 

The Cardinals’ stadium sportsbook will be co-branded with Gila River and BetMGM. Gila River owns and operates three tribal casinos in the Phoenix metro, including Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva, and Lone Butte. 

Sports Betting Timeline

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in April signed sports betting legislation into law. The expanded gaming bill authorized 20 sportsbook licenses — both in-person and online — with 10 set aside for professional sports teams and 10 for the state’s gaming tribes. 

Licenses cost $850,000, a one-time fee made payable to the state. Gross revenue from sports betting will be taxed at 10 percent on mobile wagers, and eight percent on retail bets. 

Today marks the deadline for interested parties to submit sports betting applications to the Arizona Department of Gaming. The agency is expected to reveal which entities have been approved a week from today, August 16. 

If all goes as planned, licensed sportsbook operators could begin accepting bets as early as September 9 — the same day the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will kick off the 2021-22 NFL season. 

State Farm Stadium is likely to become the NFL’s first in-stadium sportsbook, but it won’t be the first in major US professional sports. That honor goes to Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital. The home of the NBA Washington Wizards and NHL Washington Capitals debuted its on-site retail sportsbook in May.  

Wrigley Field, the storied confines of the MLB Chicago Cubs, is also in the early development stages of building a sportsbook at the historic baseball venue. 

Stadium Book Delayed

While Gila River and BetMGM hope to have three casino sportsbooks up and running in time for this year’s NFL season, the in-stadium Cardinals book won’t become a thing until late 2022. BetMGM and the Cardinals say the stadium buildout is targeting an opening in time for next year’s NFL season.

BetMGM lists the Cardinals at 35/1 to win Super Bowl LVI. That’s tied for the 14th shortest odds. The team’s over/under win total is at 8.5 games. Arizona’s odds to reach the playoffs are “yes” +180, and “no” -225, meaning BetMGM oddsmakers feel there’s a better chance the Cards don’t reach the postseason.

Numerous other pro sports franchises in Arizona have submitted sports betting applications to the state. The partnerships include:

  • Phoenix Mercury — Bally’s
  • Phoenix Suns — FanDuel
  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Caesars Entertainment
  • PGA Tour/TPC Scottsdale — DraftKings
  • Phoenix Raceway — Barstool Sportsbook
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe — WynnBET
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation — PointsBet
  • Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe — Unibet
  • Tonto Apache Tribe — TwinSpires

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