Following a multi-year deal in November with Stockholm-based sportsbook technology provider Kambi Group, the Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment division of the Tohono O'odham Tribe has launched a pair of retail sports betting shops at two of its three casinos in Arizona, Sahuarita and Glendale, and a third location in Tuscon is reportedly in development.

According to information from casino uden nemid, the Thursday's launch, described as a "win-win" for the tribe and local community, was accompanied by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Sahuarita location, where, according to local news station KGUN 9, entertainment CEO Mike Bean spoke, saying...

"Sports betting has really spread across the country very quickly. And it's still early days for us. It was important for us to be competitive and to be able to provide that extra entertainment."

The Desert Diamond Sahuarita sportsbook is part of the sports bar next to the Taste of Agave restaurant and features full-wall TV screens and self-service digital kiosks that can also be found throughout the casino, which is now open 24 hours.

Arizona sports betting:

Arizona sports betting became legal in April 2021 (launched in September 2021) when Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed the state's sports betting bill into law in April 2021, after state lawmakers approved a bill legalizing it. Sports betting rules were finally approved by the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) on July 26, 2021. The ADG received about 26 applications for 20 sports betting licenses, including 16 federally recognized tribes and 10 sports organizations.

The sports betting law in the southwestern U.S. state allows both tribal casinos and professional sports franchises to participate, but the latter are not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of sports betting in Arizona. Teams such as the Diamondbacks (MLB) and Coyotes (NHL) can partner with an operator to offer sports betting in the state.

The partnership with Kambi:

Sports gambling in the Grand Canyon State will reportedly be done locally through a partnership between Desert Diamond Casinos, which is the largest tribal operator in the state, and Malta-based Kambi Group. As mentioned, the two companies entered into a multi-channel agreement earlier this November that includes providing Kambi's sportsbook to Desert Diamond Casinos' three Arizona locations as well as an online/mobile sportsbook to be operated by the newly formed Desert Diamond Mobile LLC.

New source of revenue:

Commenting on the launch, Tohono O'odham Gaming Management Board Chairman Justin Manuel said...

"Most of the end product you see around us is really front end, but there's a lot of 'back of the house' related to regulatory compliance." Manuel also called the launch a "win-win" for both the tribe and the local community.

"A lot of negotiation. A lot of collaborative leadership effort. Not just for our tribe, but for all the tribes in Arizona," said Tohono O'odham Tribal Vice Chair Wavalena Saunders.

Tohono O'odham tribal leaders believe the revenue will lead to new jobs and other important improvements on tribal lands. Saunders said: "More scholarships, more services. Meeting more needs on our nation's land in health care, police, fire protection, education. You name it, needs exist."

In November 2021, Sahuarita and Tucson resumed 24-hour gaming for the first time since the COVID pandemic began, and Glendale-West Valley entertainment in over 75,000 square feet is available 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m.

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