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Arizona sports bettors got lucky in February. That means less tax money for the state

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Posted at 8:41 AM, May 04, 2022

Sports bettors in Arizona won at a higher percentage in February than in any other month since sports wagering became legal in September 2021, meaning the state made less money through one of its newest revenue streams.

According to the most recent report from the Arizona Department of Gaming, which was published Tuesday, sportsbooks in the state paid out more than $466 million off $491.7 million in wagers placed in February. That means sportsbooks kept only about 5% of the bets placed for the month. In the five months prior, sportsbooks paid out an average of 91% of bets placed, meaning they retained 9%.

While that news is good for sports bettors – especially those who made money off major events in February such as the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the WM Phoenix Open – it isn’t the best news for the state of Arizona. The amount of fees collected by the Arizona state government is based off gross earnings by the sportsbook. And sportsbooks can deduct amounts based off free bets and other incentives they offer during the month.

In total, the state collected $670,685.65 from sportsbooks in February, according to the ADG report. That is the lowest amount collected in a month so far, except for in September, which didn’t start until Sept. 9 and had the highest number of free bets — more than $31.2 million.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.