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NHL Coyotes Enter Arizona Betting with SaharaBets Sportsbook

Bettors in the Grand Canyon State now have 13 mobile betting apps to choose from following the launch of SaharaBets Sportsbook early this week.

The brand went live on Tuesday, thanks to a partnership between National Hockey League (NHL) franchise Arizona Coyotes and Meruelo Gaming, LLC. The company is an affiliate of SAHARA Las Vegas Casino and the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, and it is part of the empire owned by billionaire Alex Meruelo. The business mogul is also the majority owner, Chairman, and Governor of the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes were among eight professional sports teams and organizations awarded combined event wagering permits by the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) in August. The other licensees had sports betting partnerships in place at the time of approval, allowing them to launch operations when the market got off the ground in September. They include the Arizona Cardinals (BetMGM), Arizona Rattlers (BetRivers), Arizona Diamondbacks (Caesars), TPC Scottsdale (DraftKings), Phoenix Suns (FanDuel), Phoenix Mercury (Bally Bet), and Phoenix Speedway (Barstool).

The SaharaBets digital betting platform is powered by IGT’s software and it is also utilizing the company’s odds-management services. Arizona is the first state for the SaharaBets brand. The Tuesday launch also marks Meruelo Gaming’s first sports betting venture outside of Nevada.

Bringing next-level gaming experiences to sports fans in AZ

In an official statement ahead of the Tuesday launch, the Coyotes said that the new sportsbook would enable the team to provide its fans with innovative entertainment and next-level gaming experiences. According to the partners, the platform will not only offer fans unique bets on the Coyotes, but it will also provide customers with fun ways of engaging with the team.

‘’The Coyotes are dedicated to providing innovative and entertaining experiences for our great fans. Our partnership with SaharaBets will offer next-level gaming experiences for fans who want to unleash their competitive spirit,’’ said Xavier A. Gutierrez, the President and CEO of Coyotes.

Andrew Patterson, President of SaharaBets, added: ‘’SaharaBets brings the excitement and reputation of the iconic SAHARA Las Vegas to sports fans here in Arizona. As the sports betting landscape continues to evolve in the valley, SaharaBets looks forward to collaborating with the Coyotes organization to engage and interact with sports fans in fun and unique ways.’’

In addition to the mobile betting platform, the two partners also have plans to offer retail betting. However, the physical sportsbook will not be located at the Gila River Arena in Glendale as the team is set to leave the arena upon the expiration of its lease at the end of this season.

Which Arizona sportsbooks are yet to launch?

SaharaBets is the 13th online sportsbook brand to enter the blooming Arizona sports betting market.

In August, the state regulator announced 18 of the 20 available sportsbook licenses for both retail and mobile betting. Eight of the permits were awarded to pro sports teams and organizations based in the jurisdiction and 10 went to the state’s gaming tribes.

Of the 18 entities approved to offer in-person and online sports wagering, five are yet to roll out operations. They include the Hualapai Tribe and its sports betting partner Golden Nugget, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe which has a partnership with Digital Gaming, Tohono O’odham Nation, the Navajo Nation, and the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation.

These licensees have not announced when they will commence operations.

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