Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Area Casinos Now Offer New Types of Games, Making Them More Like Las Vegas

Mark Hake

Phoenix area casinos now offer a new type of table games, including craps, that make them even more competitive with Las Vegas area casinos. Moreover, the introduction of sports betting makes Phoenix a much more competitive gambling state compared to Nevada.

For example, the four major Phoenix area casinos now offer no-limit poker, as well as table craps, roulette, and even baccarat. All of these have traditionally been offered in Las Vegas but not in Arizona. These games can now be found in Talking Stock Resort and Casino (in Scottsdale, AZ), Lone Butte Casino, Wild Horse Pass Casino (both in Chandler, AZ), and Desert Diamond Casino (West Side - in Glendale, AZ). All four of these are tribal casinos in the Phoenix metro area.

In the last month, most of the poker rooms in these casinos began offering no-limit poker games. Prior to this Arizona poker games offered only spread-limit poker games. This makes Arizona, along with the introduction of craps, baccarat, and roulette, very similar to Las Vegas, in terms of gambling options.

New Table Games

The new games, including table craps, baccarat, and even craps came from an amended gaming compact. This was in April but only recently completely rolled out as part of Arizona’s wide-ranging gambling expansion. This was the result of the state's legalization of sports betting.

This occurred with the signing of Arizona HB2772 in April by Governor Doug Ducey. The bill allowed gambling to operate outside of the tribal entities for the first time in history. There are 22 tribal entities in Arizona and most of them agreed to the addition of sports gambling in both their entities and 10 other non-tribal licenses.

These non-tribal licenses were granted to Arizona’s professional sports franchises and other major athletic operators like NASCAR and the PGA tour. Those entities will be allowed to offer sports betting both on-site and on a mobile platform.

According to AZCentral.com this was a result of a trade-off. Arizona tribes agreed to support off-reservation sports betting in exchange for new table games and sportsbooks of their own.

Moreover, according to Card Player magazine, state figures made public Dec. 31, the state-sanctioned online and retail books took in $777 million in bets during September and October 2021. Most of this came in during Oct. for $487 million in bets.

Under the new Amended Tribal Gaming Compact, available on the Arizona Department of Gaming website, each tribal casino facility can offer up to 8 roulette tables, 8 craps tables, and 8 baccarat tables. In addition, sic bo and pai gow tile games are now authorized.

So far, from observing these facilities, no casino is offering up to the limit of these table games in each facility. Moreover, each year each Tribe can increase the number of table games by 5% rounded up to the nearest game.

As a direct result of these new games and the addition of sports betting Arizona hopes to pick up market share from Las Vegas, the closest major gambling location.

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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ
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