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I believe that today’s state of gaming in Arizona has moved far beyond where it was envisioned 18 years ago. The current totals of gaming revenue generated from all Arizona casinos is estimated at over 1.7 billion dollars of which 110 million dollars is given to the state general fund. This is the agreement that comprised the gaming compact with Indian tribes almost 18 years ago.
WE BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE
The Anders Gaming study commissioned by ALBA a few years ago suggests Arizona can gain an additional 300 million to over 1 billion dollars if gaming could be expanded off the reservations. This money could add to state efforts to increase school funding and fix an aging infrastructure system. Many things have been discussed including keno, sports betting, video game machines and improved lottery products. Without input and compromise from all sides any agenda involving gaming will be a challenging if not impossible task. I have spent the last 6 months meeting with government officials, legislators, key industry partners and the Director of AZ lottery to discuss and solicit ideas. Currently Senator Sonny Borrelli has introduce a bill (SB1163 striker) attempting to open the door for sports betting not only in casinos but also in liquor establishments throughout the state. Unfortunately it has been met with much opposition. While it seems this would be a win-win for Arizona, the tribes and liquor licensees, there remains some questions about the current gaming compacts and specifically will any changes to current gaming laws activate the “poison pill” provision in the compacts. Senator Borrelli is continuing to push the bill and ALBA will fully support his efforts.
I believe change is inevitable as there is too much money involved for a compromise not to make sense for all. ALBA will continue to be a part of this process and will provide updates through our Facebook page or through constant contact to all our members.
Remember no one of us is as strong as all of us together!