Lawmakers in Arizona approved online sports wagering as an emergency measure. As a result, gaming regulators can come up with rules without a need for public consultation. And thanks to lobbyists, the Arizona bookie industry wrote its own rules.
In June 2021, assistant director Warren Nichols of the State Department of Gaming hosted several lobbyists, representatives of sports organizations, and gambling company executives for an editing session of the initial draft of new regulations. Also, Nichols encouraged them to suggest changes to the rules.
One of the participants during that session was Andrew Winchell. He is Flutter Entertainment’s director of government affairs. Also, he proposed allowing sports betting software apps more time to cash out players’ accounts.
Arizona Bookie Industry Helped in Writing Rules
John Pappas, Corridor Consulting founder, suggested allowing credit cards as a form of payment when wagering on sports. According to bookie pay per head sources, Arizona followed most suggestions from the industry. In addition, reports showed how sports franchises and bookies tilted the playing field in their favor.
If bookies know how to manage a sportsbook properly, the industry can bring $21 million to the state. That’s around 0.16 percent of the state’s annual budget of $12.8 billion.
Sports betting lobbyists promoted the industry by emphasizing the handle. However, sportsbooks only pay taxes on the amount they keep. According to industry experts, two cents go to the state for every dollar wagered on sports. On the other hand, lotteries give 30 cents for every dollar wagered.
In most states, sportsbooks can deduct the cost of bonuses from taxable income. Also, they usually offer free bets to attract new players. As a result, states earn less due to the write-offs. In most cases, states don’t set aside money to treat people suffering from gambling problems.