Although there are contradictions in its laws about gambling, in general those who are located in Arizona are restricted to social and amusement gambling. Compared to other states, this is quite constraint.
However, residents are allowed to enter one of the many tribal casinos and gamble to their hearts content playing various games including casino Arizona poker. Any form of gambling outside of these lands, no matter the amount of the bet, is considered illegal with a few exemptions.
The tribal casino monopoly begun in 1988 when a Federal bill, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, issued by the Congress gave tribes the power to regulate casinos on their lands. This triggered years of tension between the tribes and Arizona governor’s office as they begun to implement slots but this shortly settled in 1993 when agreements were made which eventually led to the mega-casinos we have today in Arizona.
It’s interesting to note that tribal lands make up roughly 27% of all Arizona’s land base which is by far the largest proportion of any state. This covers more than 20 million acres.
Arizona Gambling Laws
- ⚖ Bar Poker Games are allowed consisting of bar-leagues which do not have entry fees or cash prizes.
- ⚖ Social Poker or games played at home are legal.
- ⚖ Casino Games are legal on tribal lands which include slots, table games and poker spread across 20 resorts around the state
- ⚖ Bingo is widely enjoyed by the public and is allowed via tribal lands for charitable intentions which require an advanced license.
- ⚖ Live Poker is also permitted at Indian casinos and this is where most you’ll find most poker tournaments in arizona.
- ⚖ Sports Gambling on horse racing and greygrounds within a licensed location is legal and the form of betting is pari-mutuel. Fantasy sports is not allowed.
- ⚖ State Lottery is regulated and legal including draws and instant games
Gambling definition from Arizona statute:
“4. “Gambling ” or “gamble ” means one act of risking or giving something of value for the opportunity to obtain a benefit from a game or contest of chance or skill or a future contingent event…” (From 13-3301)
You can tell from this statement that poker games are loosely covered here by the mention of ‘chance or skill’. It seems that the state has approached the idea of gambling by suggestively banning everything but enforcing exemptions.
Arizona Online Poker
Through a single enforcement for money-laundering reasons online gambling is not considered to be legal by many. Although there is no clear claim within the Arizona gambling laws whether online gambling from reservations is considered illegal.
As previously mentioned, Arizona has gone with the route of controlling gambling through exemptions. Interestingly enough there have been no public reports regarding the arrest of fine of an individual for the crime of online gambling.
No law in Arizona directly addresses online gambling.
Currently there have been no talks about the topic of online gambling in Arizona, but it’s assumed by most to be illegal – the idea of online gambling is still on murky waters with no definitive answer.
Although the possibility of online poker being legalized can never be ruled out, especially with the upcoming states and the potential of the interstate poker compact.