Arizona, a sizable desert-covered state in the Southwest of the United States, is home to several land casinos that are permitted to operate there. They are all, however, located on Native American tribal grounds.
While only horse and dog racing and a state lottery are recognized as acceptable games of chance under state law, these casinos are nonetheless able to operate because of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
They initially debuted in the early 1990s with solely slot machines, which at the time generated considerable criticism. But as time passed, the regional government signed new agreements with the tribes, allowing an increasing number of gaming activities on Indian property. The Arizona electorate formally approved a proposal about Indian gambling in their state by supporting it in the year 2002.
According to data from Worldcasinodirectory.com, 33 casinos are now open for business. According to Pokeratlas.com, there are poker rooms in 9 of them.
The Copper State recently advanced gaming legislation significantly. Unfortunately, it was more about online sports betting than online poker. The state senate approved a measure allowing online sports bets and fantasy sports in April 2021. The first sports betting websites are expected to be up in September 2021, at the start of the new NFL season.
Famous poker players from Arizona
Jacob Balsinger, a well-known poker player from Arizona, hails from Tempe. He has earned $5.042 million from live tournaments.
The majority of the figure is the result of his successful run in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, which Gregory Merson ultimately won. Balsinger earned $3.799 million for placing third among 6,598 competitors.
That must be his highest score in a live tournament to date. One of the finest players in the US at live cash games is Garrett Adelstein from Tucson, Arizona. Most people are familiar with him from the mid- to high-stakes cash games that Live at the Bike live streams.
Additionally, he had an appearance on the popular CBS reality series Survivor as well as the relaunched Poker After Dark on PokerGO.
Playing Live Poker in Arizona
Arizona Poker Regulations
“All gaming is unlawful in Arizona unless a statute excludes it as legal,” states Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3302. The state lottery, casinos on Native American territory, and dog and horse races are the only games of chance that are now fortunate enough to benefit from such exclusion. According to the penal code, gambling is defined as “to necessitate risking something of value for an opportunity to earn a benefit that is granted by chance.”
Poker players are permitted to host home games since social gaming is exempt from the ban. The Arizona Department of Gaming, established in 1995, is responsible for licensing and overseeing gambling enterprises, both tribal and non-tribal.
Arizona live poker venues
You may play cash games in a variety of game types at the Arena Poker Room inside the Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona. Texas Hold’em is only played with spread and fixed betting limits in this card room; there are no No Limit Hold’em tables.
Limit Hold’em cash tables with stakes of $3/$6, $4/$8, $8/$16, and $20/$40, Spread Limit Hold’em tables with stakes of $3/$300 and $5/$600, Spread Limit Omaha tables with stakes of $5/$2,500, and a mixed game table with blinds of $20/$40 are also available. They also host Stud cash games with secret stakes, according to their website.
They hold one or two tournaments per day in terms of competition. Most of their tournaments, in contrast to their cash games, are No Limit Hold’em events with buy-ins starting at $125 and going up to $240. They held the Winter Classic poker festival in February 2020.
There is a cash game area in the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley in Glendale, Arizona, although it has a significantly smaller range of games. Only $3/$6 and $4/$8 Limit Hold’em cash games are available at the 12 tables in their poker area, which are open round-the-clock. They do, however, receive a $500 high hand prize every 30 minutes.
There are locations of the Desert Diamond Casino franchise in Sahuarita, Arizona without a poker room, and Tucson, Arizona having a poker room.
The Ante Up Poker Tour has recently called Laveen, Arizona’s Gila River Casino – Vee Quiva home. Buy-ins for this series range from $100 to $400. You may play Limit and Spread Limit Hold’em, Limit Omaha, and Limit 5-Card Omaha cash games at Gila River Casino – Lone Butte in Chandler, Arizona.
Arizona’s online poker
Since Arizona lacks special law legalizing it, online poker is prohibited there, as it is in the majority of other states.
The 2021 Sports Betting Act, which authorized online bookmakers and fantasy sports websites, gives poker players in the state a good cause to hope that things will improve for online poker as well.