Poker in Arizona

Poker in Arizona

Numerous brick-and-mortar casinos are open for business within the borders of Arizona, a large desert state in the southern part of the US country. Nonetheless, they are all located on what is traditionally held to be Native American territory. Despite this geographic location, poker in Arizona is gaining traction.

Poker in Arizona

Gambling establishments can remain open despite state law only permitting horse and dog racing and a state lottery as legal games of chance because of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

Back when they debuted in the early 1990s, they were only able to offer slot machines, which sparked some debate. On the other hand, as time went on, the local government signed new compacts with the various tribes, thereby giving the go-ahead for an increasing number of different kinds of gambling to take place on Indian land. Voters in Arizona gave their stamp of approval to Indian gambling in 2002 by passing Proposition 40.

According to statistics provided by Worldcasinodirectory , there are currently 33 casinos open to the public. Nine of them, according to, feature poker rooms.

The gambling laws in the Copper State took a significant leap forward recently. Unfortunately, the topic wasn’t poker online but rather sports betting. The legislature of this state approved a bill in April 2021 making online sports betting and fantasy sports leagues legal. The new NFL season kicks off in September 2021, which is also the suggested start date for the initial sports wagering sites.

Quick Summary

  • Total headcount in Arizona: 7,279,005
  • Phoenix is the capital.
  • Money in U.S. dollars ($)
  • It’s 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (UTC).
  • The initials for Arizona’s state name is AZ.

Where You Can Play Poker in Casinos:

  • Gila River Casino – Vee Quiva
  • Desert Diamond Casino Tucson
  • Talking Stick Casino & Resort
  • Gila River Casino – Lone Butte
  • Desert Diamond Casino West Valley

Poker Stars from the Grand Canyon State

Tempe, Arizona, is home to Jacob Balsinger. During his career, he has amassed $5.042 million from live tournaments.

The bulk of that fortune is the result of Gregory Merson’s second-place finish in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Balsinger came in third place, earning $3.799 million against 6,598 other competitors. It appears that was his highest single score in a live tournament.

One of the best players in the United States right now is Garrett Adelstein, who hails from Tucson, Arizona. Those who follow Live at the Bike’s coverage of its high-stakes cash games will recognize him as a regular player at the table. He also made guest appearances on the critically acclaimed CBS reality show Survivor (similar to Tyson Apostol, who appeared on the 18th season)  and the relaunched Poker After Dark on PokerGO.

Legality of Live Poker in Arizona

How to Play Live Poker in Arizona

Except where specifically authorized by statute, “all gambling is prohibited in Arizona,” per A.R.S. 13-3302. Currently, only dog and horse races, state lotteries, and casinos on Native American land are exempt from federal gambling laws. To “require risking something of value for the opportunity to win a benefit, which is awarded by chance” is the legal definition of gambling.

Since poker games, namely Bovada poker, CoinPoker, and 888Poker, played among friends, are not considered illegal, hosting such events at your house is acceptable.

The Arizona Department of Gaming was established in 1995 and is responsible for issuing gambling licenses and overseeing the state’s non-tribal casinos.

Locations in Arizona Where You Can Play Live Poker

The Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers cash games across a wide variety of game types. But there are no No Limit Hold’em tables here; instead, Texas Hold’em is played with an ante and blinds that are spread evenly across the table.

Arizona flag

At the cash tables, you can play Limit Hold’em for $3/$6, $4/$8, $8/$16, or $20/$40; at the Spread Limit Hold’em tables, you can wager $3/$300 or $5/$600; at the Spread Limit Omaha tables, you can wager $5/$2,500; and at the mixed game table, the blinds start at $20/$40. They also offer Stud cash games for “undisclosed stakes,” per their website.

One or two tournaments are held daily. In contrast to their cash games, the majority of their tournaments feature No Limit Hold’em and have buy-ins between $125 and $240. They held the 2020 Winter Classic Poker Tournament in February.

Glendale, Arizona’s Desert Diamond Casino West Valley, also has a cash games room, albeit one with a significantly smaller variety of games. There are 12 tables available in the poker room at all times, and the only cash games they host are Limit Hold’em games at stakes of $3/$6 and $4/$8. But every half an hour, the player with the highest hand receives a $500 bonus.

Even though the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, Arizona, does not offer poker, its sister casino in Tucson, Arizona, does.

The Ante Up Poker Tour has recently been held at the Gila River Casino – Vee Quiva in Laveen, Arizona. Buy-ins for this series start at $100 and go all the way up to $400. Cash games of Limit Omaha, Limit 5-Card Omaha, and Limit Hold’em are available at the Gila River Casino – Lone Butte in Chandler, Arizona.

Places to Play Casino Games and Poker in Arizona

Arizona state on Google maps

Play Poker Online in Arizona

Since Arizona does not have any laws explicitly legalizing online poker, the state follows the lead of the vast majority of other states and treats it as illegal.

The 2021 Sports Betting Act, which gave the go-ahead to online bookies and daily fantasy sites, has provided poker players in the state with a legitimate basis for hoping that things will improve for online poker as well.

For the time being, their only options are to use a sweepstakes-style app like PokerBROS or an unregulated offshore site like ACR to play for real money.

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