TwinSpires is seeking to secure access to the Arizona sports betting market via a freshly inked deal with the Tonto Apache Tribe. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Retail and online operations
TwinSpires is looking to access to the soon-to-launch sports betting market in Arizona after partnering with the Tonto Apache Tribe. The Churchill Downs-owned brand announced the deal with the owner and operator of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Friday.
The partnership will see TwinSpires open a branded retail sportsbook at the casino facility. It will also be able to launch an online sportsbook in Arizona. The operator will first need to get the relevant regulatory approval and gaming licenses for both sportsbooks.
TwinSpires was originally a horse racing-focused online offering. It expanded into other sports after Churchill Downs announced its decision in January 2021 to rebrand its BetAmerica offering as TwinSpires.
Embracing sports betting in Arizona
Commenting on the partnership, TwinSpires president Ian Williams said the betting operator is “thrilled to partner with the Tonto Apache Tribe and pursue offering our leading sportsbook product and promotions to sports fans throughout Arizona.”
Tonto Apache chairman Calvin Johnson also spoke about the agreement. He stated that the tribe looks forward to working together with this “world-class partner” and to help support the local community by attracting more visitors to the casino.
ten online sports betting licenses available to tribes and another ten for professional sports organizations
Legal sports betting became a reality in Arizona in April this year after Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation into law. There are ten online sports betting licenses available to tribes and another ten for professional sports organizations.
The current schedule is for sportsbooks in the state to launch on September 9, the opening day of the NFL season. The Arizona Department of Gaming has now opened up the license application process and has been finalizing the rules and regulations for the sector. Numerous other significant sports betting operators have entered partnerships with both tribes and sports organizations in Arizona in recent months.
TwinSpires expanding its reach
TwinSpires currently has sportsbooks up and running in Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
The BetAmerica brand is still operational in New Jersey in the form of an online casino and sportsbook. It is expected that these offerings will transition over to the TwinSpires brand in the third quarter of this year.
TwinSpires is the official betting partner of the annual Kentucky Derby, run by its parent company. The brand started its operations in 2007, acting as an online pari-mutuel betting platform.
In April this year, the betting operator signed a five-year partnership with leading sports data firm Sportradar. This relationship gives TwinSpires access to Sportradar’s pre-game and live betting services, plus content solutions covering various US sports.