Arizona Coyotes seek gambling law change for ASU arena

The new hockey complex at ASU should be ready by fall 2022.
The new hockey complex at ASU should be ready by fall 2022.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 8:43 PM MST
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PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes are asking the Legislature to change a new state law legalizing sports betting so they can keep running their gambling operation when they move to Arizona State University’s hockey arena next season.

But the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and multiple Native American tribes oppose the last-minute measure approved by the Arizona Senate’s appropriations committee on Tuesday. They argue that the 2021 law allowing sports betting was part of a complex deal they negotiated with Gov. Doug Ducey and should not be changed without consulting the tribes. The change is needed because ASU’s arena only holds 5,000 people. Right now, the law states pro teams can run a sportsbook and mobile gambling operations at their facilities only if the stadium or arena seats 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 starting next season. They’ll be there for at least two years, with an option for a third season. The arena, which will also be the home to the Sun Devil men’s ice hockey, wrestling, and women’s gymnastics, is expected to be finished this fall. The cost of new arena is expected to be about $134 million, and the Coyotes will be putting up $20 million for improvements. The cash will be used to build a 15,000 square-foot facility on the northeastern edge of the arena for the Coyotes’ home and away dressing rooms, equipment rooms, a fitness room and more.

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