Since the Amateur Sports Protection Act was shot down in 2018, sports betting has exploded across the United States. In 2023 alone, Americans gambled over $119 Billion, a 27.5% increase from the previous year.

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As gambling companies continue to rake in record profits, it's the players that are suffering, and it's incredibly brutal in Arizona.

Sports Betting in Arizona: By the Numbers

Arizona legalized sports betting in April of 2021, and fully rolled out its betting programs that September. Since then, the business has blown up, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars a month. From November 2023 to January 2024 the state brought in near $700 Million a month.

Two people with nametags marking them as sportsbooks, watch money rain on them
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Since the legalization, Arizonans have gambled $15,060,277,705, the ninth most in the nation, and even beating out states that legalized the practice long before us.

Read More: Sports Ticket Prices in Arizona Will Make You Cry

There are 17 online gambling sites, and 17 retail sportsbooks open for Arizonans to use, and while online is the vastly preferable option, many businesses have used their brick and mortar build to attract a new clientele.

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The Problem with Sports Betting

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Listen, I love two things in life more than anything else: watching sports, and making money. That being said, the sports betting industry is an incredibly predatory business that preys on the less fortunate.

Sports betting in Arizona is primarily dominated by 18-34 year olds, a demographic that likely doesn't have the capital to fund a gambling addiction. This is an intentional choice, leading younger fans on with promises of big wins and free bets, but will eventually drag them into an addiction that's almost impossible to break.

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While a portion of the tax revenue is put towards gambling help programs such as 24/7 call lines, and counseling, this does little to minimize the damage that the millions going into advertising have done.

While betting can be a fun way to add more drama to an already exciting game, remember to gamble responsibly.

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If you or a loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction, please call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit

[Cronkite News]

[National Gambling Help Line]

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