BetMGM has announced a partnership with the Arizona Cardinals and Gila River Holds & Casinos that will result in the first in-stadium sportsbook for an NFL team.

Arizona Cardinals stadium sportsbook
The Arizona Cardinals will bring a sportsbook to their stadium — the first one to appear in an NFL arena. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The retail location at State Farm Stadium should open prior to the 2022 season, according to a BetMGM press release.

Arizona Law Allows for Team Sports Betting Licenses

The NFL has resisted the integration of sports betting products into its league to a greater extent than other major American leagues. However, it has begun to pivot on the issue as more and more states and jurisdictions regulate sportsbooks.

Earlier this year, Arizona passed a law that allows for up to 10 sports betting licenses for teams in the state. Ten more will go to tribes, while the state will issue up to 10 more “limited” licenses for horse racing tracks and off-track betting sites.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build upon our long-standing relationship with Gila River and launch a new one with BetMGM,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a press release. “They are best-in-class partners whose excellence and expertise in this emerging space will provide a new and innovative way to engage and interact with our fans.”

The Cardinals may be the first NFL team to welcome a sportsbook into its arena, but others have come close. The New York Giants and Jets play at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. FanDuel operates a sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, located in the same complex.

Capital One Arena in Washington, DC became the first American sports arena to host a sportsbook in 2020. The Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, and Washington Wizards all play in the stadium.

Last week, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks approved a plan to build a two-story sportsbook next to Wrigley Field. DraftKings will operate that location for the Cubs.

“While the game of baseball has largely been the same for the last 150 years, the fans have changed,” the Cubs said in a statement. “Sports wagering is becoming a big part of that change and this sportsbook will allow us to connect fans to the game in new ways.”

The Cardinals may be the first NFL team to bring sports betting directly into their stadium, but it’s all but certain they won’t be the last. The Washington Football Team have expressed interest in potentially moving to Virginia where they would be able to offer betting if they earn one of the five sportsbook licenses in the state.

The US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. That decision allows states to regulate sports betting — if they wish to do so — though each state has had to legalize the practice individually.

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