In the western American state of Arizona and a local judge has reportedly refused to invalidate a new law that will allow local professional sports teams to launch legal sportsbetting services from as soon as Thursday morning.
According to a report from the Associated Press news service, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe had asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith to issue an injunction that was to have temporarily prevented enterprises such as the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball franchise from offering sportsbetting. The source detailed that this federally-recognized group was unhappy that such professional organizations had been included in April legislation that legalized online and land-based sports wagering.
The Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe had reportedly argued that the law legalizing commercial sportsbetting was unconstitutional because it represented an illegal amendment to Proposition 202 of the state’s Voter Protection Act. The group purportedly contended that this piece of 2002 legislation had been violated because Arizona’s government had not first asked voters to consent to the extension of gambling to non-tribal groups.
However, Judge Smith reportedly used a special Monday session to rule that Proposition 202 had not been contravened because it was designed to regulate the types of gambling allowed in tribal casinos and did not concern sportsbetting. Appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in April of 2015, the judge moreover purportedly rejected several other arguments offered by the plaintiff regarding the constitutionality of the recently-ratified legislation.
Reportedly read the decision from Judge Smith…
“Plaintiff did not cite language from the proposition indicating that Arizona would never expand gambling to different activities or locations. What is more, the proposition contemplated gambling expansions.”
The Associated Press reported that House Bill 2772 was signed into law by Ducey on April 15 and will allow professional sports teams in Arizona alongside events hosted by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) to partner with licensed providers for the purposes of launching online and retail sportsbetting operations. In concert with this move and the Republican’s administration purportedly inked new gaming compacts with the majority of the state’s 22 tribes, although with the notable exception of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, that allowed them to add baccarat and craps to their already exclusive slot, poker and blackjack offerings.
Constantine John Karamargin serves as a spokesperson for Ducey and he reportedly explained that these revised gaming compacts came after five years of negotiations between the Governor’s office and aboriginal leaders from across Arizona and will furthermore result in ten tribes being awarded with online and retail sportsbetting licenses.
Karamargin reportedly told the news service…
“Today’s ruling is not just a win in court but a win for Arizona. A tremendous amount of work by a diverse group of stakeholders has gone in to implementing House Bill 2772 and the amended tribal-state gaming compacts. This ruling means that work will be allowed to continue.”