Arizona is a state in the Southwestern part of the United States. It is the 6th largest state in the country and with a population of 7.3 million, the 14th most populous. The official language in Arizona is English but currently, other languages such as Spanish enjoy wide-reaching popularity – due in large part to the location of the state on the border with neighboring Mexico.
Arizona is known for its relatively hot climate, sweltering summers, and mild winters. A mountainous state in a region known for its uneven terrain, Arizona shares borders with Nevada and California to the west, New Mexico to the east, and Sonora and Baja California (both in Mexico) to the south and southwest. At around $55,000, Arizona’s median household income puts it around the middle of the national average, at the 29th position.
Historically speaking, Arizona plays an important part in the geopolitical shape of the U.S. In 1912, it was the last contiguous territory to be admitted into the Union (and the 48th overall). Phoenix is its capital and largest city.
Arizona has one of the highest percentages of reservation land in the U.S, at roughly 25%. These lands serve as the home of 27 Native American tribes that have federal recognition, including the Navajo Nation. These tribes form a part of the state’s economic history, playing a role in the evolution of organized gambling in the state.
Early History of Gambling and Poker in Arizona
Arizona, in terms of its acceptance of poker and other “games of chance”, has come a long way through history. As a frontier state in the civil war times, Arizona played a large role in the popularity of gambling activities in what is now the United States. It boasted small establishments where people could visit, take part, and place bets on a range of games and activities, including poker and horse races.
However, in 1912, when the state gained admission into the Union, all forms of gambling were made illegal. This marked a turning point for the state and would define its history through to the latter part of the century. At this time, Arizona’s stance on legal, regulated gambling waxed more conservative, with a large part of its legislature holding the opinion that it was a morally-decadent and indecent activity whose profit potential was not worth the rot that it could cause to society.
Arizona’s stance on gambling (or games of chance and skill for profit) began to slowly change as the 20th century drew to a close. In a bid to include the Native American tribes in the social and economic landscape, the state government granted some tribes the right to offer these gambling services and reap the profit therein. This resulted, suddenly, in a boom in Arizona’s legal gambling and tourism, creating jobs for thousands of people, revenue in the billions, and tax dollars for the government.
Today, as a result of an added boost from gambling activities, Arizona’s tourism revenues rival those of both agriculture and manufacturing (two economic sectors that, previously, were unrivaled in their importance to the state).
Current State of Poker and Gambling in Arizona
The Valley of the Sun (as Arizona is fondly called), as part of its now liberal stance on regulated gambling, abides by a meticulous state criminal code. The set of laws contained therein spell out explicitly what constitutes legal gambling and betting activities in the state. This includes a breakdown of the various establishments that can offer gambling services and the games they can offer (among others).
Weirdly, the legality of poker and poker betting is not clearly specified in that code. This puts the game in something of a strange position where it is neither completely legal nor clearly banned. However, since the Native Indian tribes (the de-jure custodians of gambling in the state) offer poker as part of their table games catalog, it’s safe to say that poker is allowed in Arizona.
The state’s stance on online poker betting, however, couldn’t be clearer. The activity is banned in the state, and proposed legislature towards overturning that status quo have all been quashed in their infancy, mostly due to unwavering opposition by the tribes that run Arizona’s local casinos.
Casinos and other gambling establishments are only permitted on Indian reservations and they offer the full gamut of table games, including poker. Online poker and sports betting of any kind are banned in the state. The Arizona lottery (the largest in the U.S), as well as other games such as bingo, charitable gambling events, raffles, and horse racing, are all legal in the state.
Best Poker and Gambling Websites in Arizona
Despite the fact that some gambling activities are either illegal or unspecified, a variety of off-shore gambling websites allow Arizonans to place bets on any game. Some of them include:
- Bovada: This website offers a 50% percent bonus up to $250 on first deposits and allows users to bet on a comprehensive array of sports and gambling games through its sportsbook, racebook, and virtual casino platforms. They also offer poker.
- BetOnline: This platform is trusted by bettors all over the United States and beyond. It emphasizes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a viable (and even preferred) depositing option. The website allows you to bet on games ranging from poker to the SuperBowl and sweetens the deal for first time bettors with a 100% first deposit bonus on amounts up to $1,000.