Tim Steller’s view: Sports betting is unlikely to make much of Arizona’s tax revenue | Subscriber

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  Tim Steller's view: Sports betting is unlikely to make much of Arizona's tax revenue |  Subscriber

A customer places a bet inside FanDuel Sportsbook inside Footprint Center, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Phoenix. Arizona’s first sports betting operations are now open in time for the start of the NFL season with live wagers allowed on college and professional sports. 

The barrage of sports-betting ads hitting us in Arizona has a silver lining, or so I hoped.

Tim Steller, opinion columnist for the Arizona Daily Star

Story Highlights

You’ve undoubtedly seen the ads from the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook and others. How can you avoid them, right? The companies are desperate to grab the biggest possible share of Arizona’s new sports-betting market at the outset, steering new customers into their apps, which the bettors will presumably use for years.

I’m not in love with any kind of gambling, since it tends to act as a tax on people’s weaknesses. But the silver lining is tax revenue.

That, it turns out, was the main objective in negotiations toward the new tribal gaming compact that also brought about sports betting in Arizona. Kirk Adams, the former chief of staff for Gov. Doug Ducey and former Arizona House speaker, said so in an exhaustive Arizona Republic story on how sports betting came to be. 

The governor’s goal “was revenue,” Adams said in the story.  If that wasn’t clear enough, the Republic also reported that Damon Clarke, chairman of the Hualapai Tribe, said that what Ducey wanted out of the updated gaming compacts was “revenue.”

“More revenue. Yes, sir.” So one would assume we’re at least going to get a big stream of tax revenue to help offset Arizona’s big new tax cut for the wealthy, right?