Monday’s order is not the last word. Although Smith denied the injunction, it does not preclude the tribe from continuing to challenge the legality of HB 2772.
And there are other issues.
During the hearing, the judge had questions about exactly what Ducey negotiated and what lawmakers approved.
Of particular note is that there are 20 licenses to take sports wagers, half to tribes that were selected by the Gaming Department and half to sports franchises, of which there are fewer than 10. So the Cardinals automatically got one, as did the Diamondbacks, the Coyotes, the Phoenix Mercury and even the Professional Golfers Association tour and NASCAR racing.
Smith wondered why wagering had to be tied to those particular events.
“You couldn’t be tied to a different type of professional sporting event as a venue?” he asked.
Anni Foster, the governor’s chief legal counsel, conceded that’s the way it is now. For example, she said that Turf Paradise, which operates horse racing in Arizona, has been denied the ability to take wagers on other professional sports because it “wasn’t necessarily delineated specifically in the statute as an option.”
But Foster insisted that the statute does anticipate other kinds of sports teams being able to apply and potentially get wagering rights.
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