SolSports: First retail sportsbook opens in Tucson

KMSB News 5:30-6 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Get out your wallets, and place your bets. The first retail sportsbook in the Tucson area will officially to the public on Thursday, Nov. 18. Casino Del Sol opened its SolSports with a ribbon-cutting and a blessing Wednesday.

“Today is a beautiful, beautiful day,” said Peter Yucupicio, Chairman, Pascua Yaqui Tribe. “We finally get to unwrap, as you’d say, for this holiday season, this new sports betting area.”

Their message: People now don’t need to travel far to get the big-casino, sports gambling and poker experience.

“(You) don’t need to go to Vegas, don’t need to go to Atlantic City, and you certainly don’t need to do it on a mobile app,” said John Collins, sportsbook director, Casino Del Sol.

While this is the first one in Tucson, they join a growing list of retail sports betting locations across the state, so far five others in the Phoenix area. Revenues so far won’t be known until the 29th, but early fantasy sports betting data shows promise. In the last four days of August alone, fantasy sports betting brought in more than $175,000 just through in-state entry fees.

“This keeps the revenue here in Tucson, and southern Arizona, and Arizona itself, and that’s the beauty of having these sports betting facilities throughout southern Arizona and the state,” said Yucupicio.

Their hope is the more local dollars, the more local job creation and economic boost the industry can be.

“We have about 20 employees, when you add the additional food and beverage and other amenities, it’s probably supporting 30 full-time employees,” said Kim Van Amburg, CEO, Casino Del Sol.

COVID-19 construction woes delayed openings a bit, but the casino said they wanted to wait until everything was finished to unveil the new room, complete with chairs, spreads on the games and several TVs.

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