Sportsbook operator BetMGM will enter Arizona through a first-of-its-kind deal that will allow for statewide distribution of its app and eventually will include retail locations at State Farm Stadium and three Gila River tribal casinos.
The agreement, which makes BetMGM the exclusive sportsbook sponsor of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, is the fifth such tie-up in the state, which divided access to its 20 licenses evenly between 10 tribal casino operators and 10 sports facilities, including MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA Tour, NASCAR and WNBA venues in Phoenix.
But it is the first to include both a tribal operator and a team, a dynamic that emerged when Gila River, which was deep into negotiations to convey state-wide access to New Jersey-based BetMGM, suggested the sportsbook also include sponsorship of the Cardinals. Gila River has been a Cardinals sponsor since 2006. Its brand has been on two large premium clubs at the stadium since 2014.
“This all started with building a terrific working relationship with Gila River, who have been incredibly creative and proactive,” BetMGM CRO Matt Prevost said. “It was actually Gila River who suggested that we would be stronger as a trio than if someone else were working with the Cardinals. The other teams in the market were all pairing off, so there was a little bit of a dance going on there. As a group, we felt going in together was going to make for a stronger overall offering.”