Governor Ducey: "We did it by bringing everyone to the table."
Governor Doug Ducey today signed historic laws and an amended Tribal State Gaming Pact that will modernize gaming in Arizona and provide millions of dollars in revenue for critical government needs.
Governor Ducey was the culmination of a multi-year effort to modernize an industry that has become a pillar of the state's expanding economy since 1992 and provides more than 38,000 jobs.
"I cannot exaggerate the impact of the Tribal State Gaming Pact amendment and related legislation on our state," Governor Ducey told guests at a ceremony at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Gaming employs thousands of Arizonans and generates millions in tax revenue that benefits areas such as K-12 education, conservation and treatment centers. Today's signing marks the culmination of years of partnership and engagement by many different stakeholders – and we've done so by bringing everyone to the table, setting agendas aside, and putting Arizona first. "
The many tribal leaders and a large non-partisan group of state lawmakers who attended the event included Gila River Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, who was instrumental in the tribal and state efforts to amend the pact, and Senator TJ Shope and Rep. Jeff Weninger, who led efforts to secure passage of House Bill 2772.
"This is a unique milestone for tribal nations, their communities and the entire state of Arizona – and I am proud to sign an amendment to the Gambling Treaty and related laws that will benefit people in every corner of our state," added the Governor added, "My sincere thanks go to President Karen Fann, Spokeswoman Rusty Bowers, Chairwoman Reginald Bolding, Chairwoman Rebecca Rios, and Vice-Chairwoman Lupe Contreras. I am also grateful to Senator TJ. Shope, Rep. Jeff Weninger, all lawmakers who supported the legislation , Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Chairman Clarke and all tribal partners who have been instrumental in securing a pact that builds on the success of our tribal-state partnerships. "
As the current tribal state gaming contracts expire in the next few years, Arizona law passed a bill this week that modernizes gaming in Arizona and provides additional revenue for Arizona and tribal nations. The legislation, House Bill 2772, is part of a compromise negotiated in the amended Gaming Pact, which is undergoing the most significant modernization in nearly two decades. Negotiations on the compact changes and the associated laws lasted more than five years. They ensure that Arizona gambling remains limited and regulated while providing security for the future of the state and the tribes.
Game facilities provide tribal sources of funding to support tribal education, health care, housing, and other basic services such as clean water. The modernized contract continues to require tribes to bring in a portion of their net profits from Class III games to pay the regulatory costs in exchange for substantial exclusivity, excluding sports betting, fantasy sports, and keno.
In addition, the number of gaming machines a tribe can operate will increase, but will continue to be limited, and a system that will allow tribes to transfer all or part of their gaming equipment allocation to other tribes who will remain in place in valid and effective tribal state contracts in place. The contract also specifies the number and location of authorized gaming facilities, including restrictions, and the number and location where and when the new facilities can be opened and operated.
"The Gila River Indian Community is proud to have entered into a gambling agreement with other tribes and the state that benefits all communities," said Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the Gila River Indian Community. “Gaming drives economic development and employment growth for our tribe, and provides sources of funding for tribes across Arizona for education, housing, and more. My sincere thanks go to everyone who has come together to amend the treaty and have House Bill 2772 signed. "
In addition, the contract was amended to allow event betting, keno through lottery, fantasy competitions, and off-reservation for mobile lotteries. The changes extend the contracts to an additional 20 years and specify the types and forms of additional games a tribe is allowed to operate. You can find more details about the modernized Compact HERE.
"Sports betting is coming to our state and it's a great win for all Arizonians and our tribal partners," said Representative Weninger. “Games not only create a multitude of jobs, but they also help generate income on topics that matter to many people across Arizona. I am proud to have played a role in this historic business, and I thank Governor Ducey, my colleagues, tribal leaders, and everyone who helped bring the legislation and compact changes over the finish line. "
Senator Shope supported the mirror legislation, Senate Bill 1797.
"This is a historic day," said Senator Shope. “The legislation and the amended gambling treaty will keep our state moving and benefit Arizonans of all walks of life. This will impact our tourism industry, generate millions in revenue, and expand employment opportunities across Arizona. I am grateful to Governor Ducey, Representative Weninger, all lawmakers who supported the law, and our tribal partners for playing a role in modernizing Arizona gambling. "
Arizona's first tribal state gaming deals were signed in 1992. Arizona voters agreed to continue tribal gaming 10 years later with the passing of Proposition 202. Since then, all of Arizona’s 22 state-recognized tribal nations have entered into treaties with the state in a relationship that has been of mutual benefit to the tribes and the state. Gaming employs thousands of Arizona residents across Arizona in industries such as hospitality, hospitality, and tourism. As of December 2020, tribal contributions totaling nearly $ 1.5 billion have been made to the state, counties, cities and towns since the original contracts were signed.