Arizona Online Poker Laws & Legislation

Arizone Online PokerArizona has many legal casinos where poker is played. They have a number of major poker tournaments each year. Arizona is one of state that does have laws pertaining to online gambling, but the law can be interpreted to mean many different things. Arizona law says the state itself or any Indian tribe are prevented from establishing or conducting Internet gaming (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 5-504(I) and Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 5-601.02).  The states right to prohibit tribes from offering internet gaming has not been settled. [1]

The law does not specifically state what is considered internet gaming. The broad definition of the law could include online poker or it could exclude online poker. The law leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

There is currently no law in Arizona that specifically criminalizes the act of online gambling. Upon extensive research into this matter we found no instances where someone playing poker online has been charged with a crime.

Can Players From Arizona Play Poker Online?

Yes! Players from Arizona should not have too many problems when it comes to finding an online poker room. All US-facing online poker rooms accept players from Arizona. The only problems that you may run into are trying to fund your account, but online poker rooms are continually introducing new and easy ways how to fund your poker account so this should not be too much of an issue.

Is it Legal to Play Poker Online in Arizona?

Due to our interpretation of the law playing poker in Arizona is not illegal. However, we are not the authority on this issue, and if you are concerned about the legality of playing online poker you should research this thoroughly and contact your local authorities for clear directions on this issue. We do know that to date no individual has ever been criminalized for playing online poker in Arizona.

Arizona is a state that is more open to gambling than a lot of states. They have several land based casinos. There is rumor that there may even be a deal in the works to have regulated online poker. Arizona’s neighbor Nevada has already regulated online poker. The rumor that is generating is that Arizona is working to strike a deal with Nevada for intrastate poker games. We are anxious to see how this turns out.

We have a few facts about online gambling in Arizona below:

  • Arizona has regulation in place for online gaming, but it does not specifically mention online poker. The law is very vague and currently does not state that playing poker online is illegal.
  • Tribal casinos are authorized by the state, and they offer a full array of casino games.
  • Arizona casinos host several major poker tournaments yearly.
  • No individual has ever been criminalized for playing online poker in the state of Arizona to date.
  • Arizona’s neighbor Nevada has legalized online poker, and it is rumored that Arizona may be next.

Arizona Gambling History

Arizona has had an active history in gambling. Up until 1910, for the most part gambling was legal in the state of Arizona. At this time most of the United States was taking a stand against gambling, and Arizona followed their lead. Arizona was actually forced to take a stand against gambling to become a state.

For many years illegal gambling houses were available all around Arizona. It is the general consensus that the authorities knew about these places but chose to look the other way. The residents of Arizona were some accustomed to their illegal gambling establishments that they actually voted against legalizing gambling in the 1950s. They never dreamed that the government would actually shut down their gambling.

In the 1980s, the government started cracking down on these illegal establishments. However, social gambling was exempted from the law so many social clubs like bars started offering gambling in their establishments. This led to stricter laws and the government strictly enforcing the laws and shutting the gambling down.

The Indian tribes in Arizona have had bingo halls for many years. In 1991, Arizona established a state lottery. Around this same time the Indian tribes started petitioning the government to allow their bingo halls to become casinos. By 1992, more than 20 Indian bingo halls had been granted the right to become casinos by signing compacts with the state. [2]

Currently Arizona has more than 30 casinos around the state. These casinos hold several major poker tournaments throughout the year. The casinos are a huge tourist attraction, and they have helped keep casino players in their own state instead of traveling to the neighboring Nevada for casino play. [3]

Legalized Gambling Options in Arizona

Arizona has a wide array of regulated gambling options. Bingo, full service casinos, and a state lottery are some of the regulated gambling you will find in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees these organizations and makes sure that they are operating fairly.

Will Arizona Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

The future of online gambling in Arizona looks promising for poker players. Ironically, Senator Jon Kyl for Arizona who was involved with the development of the UIGEA may now be on board with a federal bill to mandate online poker. Senator Kyl has chosen not to rerun for office after his current term. It is rumored that he has been working with Senator Harry Reid on a federal online gambling bill.

It has also been rumored that he has been in negotiations with Nevada to form an alliance with Arizona in the online intrastate gambling. If this happens then players from Arizona will be able to legally play online poker against players within the state of Arizona, Nevada, and any other states that join the alliance.

This will be a very interesting turn of events if it happens. As we mentioned the above statements are rumors, and they have not been confirmed or denied.


  1. Jump up ^ Arizona Gaming Statutes
  2. Jump up ^ Arizona History of Gaming
  3. Jump up ^ Gambling in Arizona