Best Casino Arizona Online
The evolution of casino gambling in Arizona is not all that different from the path the gaming industry took in other states on the continent; wild, uncontrolled and shady at first, the casino and gambling scene was confronted with the unforgiving puritan principles and the long arm of the law which labeled the activity as immoral and therefore illegal. Since the rules that try to curb human passion are usually unsustainable, the law in Arizona (just like in many other USA states) had to make a compromise and in 1958 horse racing became a legal branch of gambling. In 1981, the lottery was established, making Arizona a pioneer in this type of commercial gaming west of Mississippi.
With the rapid increase of gambling halls in the reservations, the Congress passed IGRA, which encouraged economic growth of the tribes and therefore allowed casino operations within reservations. Any tribe willing to sign the compact with the state government would thus be permitted to offer Class III games. The 90s started a new era of Arizona gambling scene when slot machines were introduced in Tribal casinos. This was also a matter of controversy and conflict between the state and the tribes since compacts were yet to be signed.
The state was adamant in their earlier decision regarding the legal agreements and FBI raided the casinos that did not conform to the rule, seizing the slots. It took 6 years (1992-1998) for 17 tribes to sign the compacts, after a decade of legal challenges; once signed, the documents officially permitted slots in the casino premises, controlled the number of the slot machines inside the facility, established the basic operational rules and the internal control of the casinos. With the new millennium, Proposition 202 came into effect and soon all 22 federally recognized tribes signed new compacts with the Arizona state government.
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Best land-based Casinos in Arizona
There are between 20 and 35 casinos in Arizona, all operated by the tribes and located in Gila, Pinal, La Paz, Yavapai, Maricopa, Pima, Yuma, Navajo, and Mohave counties. In total, these facilities have more than 18,000 slots and other types of gaming machines, offering a betting range between $0.01 and $1000.
Tucson is the area with the highest number of casinos – Casino Del Sol, Casino of the Sun, Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel Tucson and Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarita.
The first on the list, Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Centre is operated by the Pascua Yaqui tribe, running 1,300 slot machines and around 24 blackjack, pai gow, Texas hold’em and three card poker tables. The casino also offers a separate poker room with 15 tables as well a bingo room with 600 seats.
Casino of the Sun is Casino Del Sol sister casino, offering no more than a bingo hall when it was first opened; in time, the casino has expanded a bit and is now hosting slot machines as well.
Desert Diamond Casino and Hotel is a part of the casino chain, with facilities in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Why. The venue in Tucson is located near the International Airport, with a great selection of slots (around 1,300), the keno area, blackjack tables, bingo hall and a poker room – roulette and craps, on the other hand, are not included in the offer.
The last one on this list is Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarita, opened in 2001 and operating 600 slots, keno, blackjack and Spanish 21 tables. Casino portion of the facility is opened around the clock, whereas the tables have limited working hours, from 10 AM to 2 AM. Games such as Roulette, Craps and Poker are not offered in Desert Diamond Casino Sahuarita.
Legal Aspects of Gambling in Arizona
Even though Arizona clearly takes a liberal view of gambling, sports betting is not allowed within its territory. The recent US Supreme Court ruling on sports betting was however greeted by many, mostly due to the economy-related reasons. Now that the states can individually decide whether or not they will welcome this form of gambling, many predict that Arizona will certainly not oppose, especially since the introduction of sports betting platforms inside the Tribal casinos would mean a higher share of profit for the state. Some even say that the new drafts of future compacts are already being discussed and, according to the Navajo representative, the casino operators are extremely interested in the potential and the benefits that sports betting would bring. For the time being, however, legalization of sports betting seems to only be involving the tribes and the Tribal casinos, which obviously does not sit well with the operators who are outside this particular gambling industry sector.
Another concern is that the legalization of the sports betting can lead to a serious increase in sports gambling, consequently resulting in sports commercialization and potentially giving way to rigged matches or even conflict of interest in some cases. Not everybody shares this opinion and many argue that sports betting is already being illegally practiced across the state – in other words, the activity may be unlawful, but that does not mean that people are refraining from it. Looking at it from that perspective, it seems that commercialization in inevitable, legal or not. According to some, caution should be executed and although legalization of sports betting seems like an attractive method of increasing the revenue, the costs of such an endeavor must be taken into consideration.
As far as the online casino gambling is concerned, Arizona has no laws that clearly regulate or even explicitly forbid this type of gambling. That means that anyone can gamble online freely, without worrying that they are breaking the law. Of course, not every gaming site will accept USA residents, even if they are coming from the states that do not ban online gambling and the choice of online casinos will be rather limited.
Available Games for arizona gamblers
As a state where games of chance are widely accepted and available, Arizona does not ban a lot of gambling forms, although, reading this article, you must have noticed that table games such as roulette and craps are not found inside some of the largest Tuscan gambling venues. This is not a coincidence; Arizona casinos do offer Class II and Class III games, the latter being described as Vegas-style games, however, roulette, baccarat, and craps tables are not permitted. Slots, poker, and blackjack tables are pretty much all that the current compacts are covering.
The other forms of gambling allowed in Arizona are the following:
Pari-mutuel – betting on horse races and greyhound racing is perfectly legal and currently the only type of sports betting permitted on Arizona territory. The same cannot be said for Fantasy sports betting, which is banned at the moment. The ban may be lifted once the state decides to legalize sports betting, but this remains to be seen.
Lottery – in Arizona, the lottery is a part of MUSL (Multi-State Lottery Association) and this type of gambling was legal since the early 80s – in 1981, the first scratch ticket was sold. The proceeds from the lottery are directed towards various state programs and according to some reports, more than $200 million was generated and transferred over to the relevant funds from the lottery alone in 2016.
Bingo – both legal and popular; Arizona casino often include entire bingo areas and a lot of facilities started off as bingo halls, expanding their offer as time went by.
AZ Casino FAQs
Are there legal forms of roulette and craps in Arizona?
Even though the regular roulette and craps tables cannot be found in Arizona casinos, digital variants may be offered if the gaming commission approves it.
What is the legal age requirement for gambling in the state of Arizona?
A person under the age of 18 will not be allowed inside Tribal casinos. The same goes for purchasing the lottery tickets – if you would like to buy a lottery ticket, you must be at least 18. This is hardly surprising considering the state’s friendly attitude towards gambling; certain states will not even permit minors inside a casino even if they are accompanied by parents whereas in Iowa for example, lottery tickets can only be bought by those who are 21.
Is online poker legal in Arizona?
Just like with online gambling in general, there are no laws that would specifically regulate online poker. There are no poker websites operated from Arizona state and the players who would like to participate in this sort of activity would have to resort to sites outside US domains.
What are the betting limits in Arizona?
The bets in Tribal casinos can start with the amount as low as $0.01 and go all the way up to $1000 on the casino table or $500 for a game of poker.
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