SaharaBets Shuts Down Arizona Operations

SaharaBets has officially ceased operations in the state of Arizona.

SaharaBets struggled to gain market share in Arizona before its exit (Source: EyeEm, Getty Images)

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The sportsbook affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes' betting license announced on Tuesday that it no longer accepts bets or operates in the state.

In an email sent to users, the sportsbook brand owner, Alex Meruelo, also the former owner of the Arizona Coyotes, stated that the book is discontinuing its sports betting offerings and shutting down immediately.

"This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact it may have on you as a customer. We want to express our gratitude for your support throughout the years. It has been a privilege serving you, and we hope that our services have enhanced your sports betting experience." The email read.

However, the sportsbook has stated that it will provide a 30-day window for users to access their accounts. They will be able to settle their outstanding wagers and withdraw their funds.

Additionally, SaharaBets will reach out to customers with future bets that extend beyond the 30-day deadline to ensure a smooth resolution for all pending bets.

Coyotes Relocation Forces SaharaBets Exit

SaharaBets' exit from Arizona was triggered by the relocation of the Coyotes to Utah after the sale of the NHL franchise. Meruelo had initially expressed his desire to retain the rights to the team's name and other assets to revive an Arizona franchise in the future.

However, in a recent development, Meruelo decided to relinquish his ownership stake in the team. This subsequently led to the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) issuing a 180-day notice to SaharaBets to shut down operations.

Under Arizona gaming law, ten licenses are allocated to professional sports teams and ten for tribal nations. Since SaharaBets' market access was hinged on its partnership with the Coyotes, it had no option but to seek a different sports franchise or leave the state.

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Unimpressive Share in Arizona Market

Another reason why SaharaBets decided to withdraw from its only state of operation is partly due to its poor performance in the jurisdiction.

Since its entry into Arizona in January 2022, SaharaBets has struggled to gain significant traction in the state's betting market despite its collaboration with the Coyotes.

SaharaBets' overall handle in Arizona since the state started offering online sports betting stands at $11.3 million, ranking 17th out of 20 operators. Putting it in perspective, Fanatics Sportsbook generated more than this handle in April, its first month of operation in the state.


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