Arizona Coyotes seek gaming law change for ASU arena
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes are asking the Legislature to change a new state law legalizing sports betting so they can continue to run their gambling operation when they move to the hockey arena in the Arizona. Arizona State University next season.
But the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and several Native American tribes oppose the last-minute measure approved by the Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. They argue that the 2021 law allowing sports betting was part of a complex agreement they negotiated with Governor Doug Ducey and should not be changed without consulting the tribes. The change is necessary because the ASU arena only holds 5,000 people. Currently, the law states that professional teams can only run sports betting and mobile gaming operations at their facilities if the stadium or arena can accommodate at least 10,000 people.
Last month, Arizona State University and the Coyotes agreed to allow the team to use the school’s new arena beginning next season. They will stay there for at least two years, with an option for a third season. The arena, which will also host Sun Devil men’s ice hockey, wrestling and women’s gymnastics, is expected to be completed this fall. The cost of the new arena is expected to be around $134 million, and the Coyotes will invest $20 million in upgrades. The money will be used to build a 15,000 square foot facility on the northeast edge of the arena for the Coyotes’ home and away locker rooms, equipment rooms, a fitness room and more again.
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