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Online Poker in Arizona - Site Recommendations, Law, History & More

AZ Online Poker

There are times that not having to worry about the politics surrounding online gambling can be a great thing, and you really see that in Arizona because a contentious political situation would make it fairly unlikely to see Arizona online poker regulation any time soon. Offshore sites operate in the state though and offer games to Arizona citizens, so they aren’t subject to the changing winds of the political discussions. The sites available for online poker in Arizona are better than the ones a regulated government could come up with as the player base is much larger and the promotions can be pretty lucrative for pretty much every player. Below is a list of all the great sites and promotions available to those from Arizona via the offshore US-facing real money sites.



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Table of Contents

1.   Poker Sites
      1.1. Ignition
      1.2. Chico Poker Network
      1.3. Intertops
      1.4. Winning Poker Network
      1.5. Grand Poker Network
2.   Selection Guidelines
3.   Payments
4.   Laws
5.   Gambling History
6.   Regulated Poker?
7.   Live Gambling
8.   Conclusion
9.   Address in Nearby State?
10. FAQ
11. Additional Resources

 

Online Poker Sites Available in Arizona

The online venues for online poker in Arizona vary widely in quality. Rather than subjecting you to the whims of fate, we've gathered together some of the best of them and presented them below so that you don't have to take a chance on any untested or unproven sites. Whichever of our recommended poker companies you elect to play at, you'll be able to enjoy up-to-date software features, honest games, and the fair payout of your winnings. Read our mini-reviews of the leading internet poker rooms, and then choose one to sign up for.

 

Ignition Poker

Good Features of Ignition Poker

As the flagship site of the PaiWangLuo Network, the largest poker room open to Americans, Ignition is certainly a popular choice among Arizonans. Besides its size, another thing it has going for it is the 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus that it grants to all new players. This bonus is worth 30% rakeback when you clear it with tournaments and sit n' goes although it's worth a bit less in ring games. 

Play Now Ignition Banner CTA

You can join NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 tables from $0.02/$0.05 to $10/$20, and there are LHE and LO/8 games up to $30/$60. Something that you won't find at any other U.S.-friendly online poker room is Zone Poker. It's a type of fast-fold poker that transports you to a new table whenever you fold your hand, and you'll get new hole cards right away. The fast pace of Zone lets you play hundreds of hands per hour.

Moving over to sit-n-goes, you can play from $1 + $0.05 to $200 + $14. Apart from the normal contests you could find at practically any other site, there are Beginners SNGs that pay out a larger-than-normal fraction of the field and Triple Ups that award a prize of three times the buyin to one-third of the field. The multi-table events at Ignition guarantee $1.5 million every week, the largest being in the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guaranteed on Sundays. From time to time, Ignition hosts tourney series, like the Black Diamond Poker Open, that can have 100 tournaments or more and hand out millions in prizes.

Ignition provides poker installers for Windows and Mac. There's also a web-based app that you can use with smartphones and tablets. However, only cash games are supported by this mobile-compatible software; it doesn't have sit-and-goes or multi-table-tournaments. There's also a casino section, available on desktops and mobile, with hundreds of games, and you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus to check them out.

ProfRB's Ignition Banner CTA

To join up at Ignition today, click on the banner above. Read our fully researched Ignition Casino Poker review to learn more.

 

Chico Network

Image Showing Chico Poker Network's Positive Features

The Chico Poker Network forms the third-largest spot for internet poker in Arizona. Its best site, Sportsbetting.ag, offers you a 100% up to $2,500 bonus when you fund your account for the first time. This bonus delivers value of 33% back to you.

Chico Network Play Now Banner CTA

Big-bet cash game aficionados have their choice between NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha-8 up to $5/$10 blind levels. Sit n' gos are also solidly represented here at buyins from $0.05 (with no fee) up to $200 + $10. Multi-table tournaments don't exist at this same broad range of stakes. Most daily tournaments are denominated at $33 and lower, but there is a Main Event on Sundays that costs $90 + $9 to enter and comes with a guarantee of $50,000. On the last Sunday of every month, it instead requires a $100 + $9 buyin, but the guaranteed amount is raised to $100,000.

You can access the Sportsbetting.ag poker room via your PC or Mac, which both have full poker client software available. There are also apps for iOS and Android machines. We've thoroughly reviewed these apps and have found them to be very pleasant to use. From your mobile, you can play almost the entire array of games on offer. You can also explore the other betting options at SB.ag, including sports, casino, and financials.

The player rewards arrive frequently and for as long as you maintain your account. Comp points permit you to buy into select tournaments at a rate of about 5% cashback. Three leaderboards run every week that distribute $20,000 to the top ring game, SNG, and tourney players. Cash gamers at $0.50/$1.00 NLHE and above can opt to play at special Bad Beat Jackpot tables for the opportunity to score a large payday. The BBJ has been hit for $650K before.

CTA Highlights Banner for SB.ag

Follow our above banner link to open up your Sportsbetting.ag account. You may wish to first read our detailed overview of Sportsbetting.ag Poker. SB.ag has a sister site, which you can find out more about in our extensive BetOnline page.

 

Horizon Network

Horizon Network's positive attributes

The Horizon Poker Network and its predecessors have had their ups and downs in the American internet poker market, but the organization is now firmly in the hands of Intertops, a trusted name in real money gaming for more than 30 years. Upon your first deposit into the poker room, you'll get a 200% up to $1,000 bonus that can be worth as much as 27% rakeback.

Play Now CTA for Intertops Poker

The primary form of poker at Intertops is No Limit Hold'em, and other game types only have a little bit of traffic. Most populated tables are at $50NL and below, and you probably won't find more than three or four of them at any given stake level. Sit-n-goes are even less prevalent, and there are seldom any contests running above $5. MTTs are better because there are many events every day although most of them have inexpensive buyins and small guarantees. There is, however, a $50 + $5 tourney every day that guarantees $1,500 in prizes ($2,500 on Sundays).

As you play poker, you'll not only be clearing your bonus, but you'll also receive 36% dealt rakeback when you sign up through our links. And when your bonus is done, you won't have to wait too long before you get reload offers, allowing you to pick up more free cash. There's a $4,000 rakerace every week, and you can grab no-deposit bonus deals by trading in the spendable gold coins currency that you'll automatically earn while you play.

Intertops likes to give its customers the chance to win free entries into prestigious live tournaments. Therefore, it runs online step satellites to offline poker festivals a few times per year. In many cases, they overlay considerably, allowing you to win your seat at a discount. There are sometimes even Facebook contests that grant the winners no-charge entry into these feeder events, so it's possible to win a poker getaway without any investment.

cta Highlights Image for Intertops

Click through the above banner to become a member of Intertops Poker. If you'd like to read up on the site a bit first, then head on over to our factual Intertops page.

 

Winning Network

Image of WPN Desirable Features

The Winning Poker Network is appropriately named because it has been triumphing over its competitors lately as it has grown to become the #2 site in the U.S. market in terms of player liquidity. Americas Cardroom is the premier network site, and when you open an account, you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus that clears at 20% rakeback equivalent. You'll also be able to claim $50 gratis to use for Jackpot Poker sit-n-goes.

Play Now Banner for Americas Cardroom

The Jackpot Poker variant, for which you'll get $50 free, is a three-player, lottery-style sit-and-go that determines the prize pool through a random multiplier that can top out at 2,500 times the buyin. There's another atypical kind of SNG here called SNG 2.0. It seats nine and also uses random mechanisms to select the payout chart. In some cases, all nine competitors in SNG 2.0 earn a prize. There are also normal sit-and-goes here, at stakes both small and large.

The SNG lobby at ACR is certainly interesting, but the multi-table tournament selection is probably even better for most players. The largest Sunday Major event for U.S.A. players takes place here. It's called the Sunday Special, and it boasts a $150,000+ prize pool for a buyin of $200 + $15. A few times per year, Americas Cardroom runs series, like the Online Super Series, that let you pit your skills against thousands of others for cash that amounts to millions of dollars.

Cash game fans get to play No Limit Texas Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha (Hi-only and Hi-Lo) up to $25/$50. The topmost part of this range actually sees cards being dealt a few times per week, so it's not just for show. Limit poker is also present at blind levels both low and high in the following formats: Texas Hold'em, Omaha-8, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud-8.

Americas Cardroom has deployed an Elite Benefits program to bring regular rewards to its user base. As you put in the time at the tables, you'll accumulate Combat Points, which you can exchange for complimentary goodies. Other promotions include The Beast, a leaderboard for cash players, and Sit & Crush, a similar system for sit n' go buffs. Both of these leaderboards distribute tens of thousands of dollars per week in the form of real money awards and satellite tourney entries.

Highlights Banner CTA for ACR

There's no reason to wait; click on the above link to visit Americas Cardroom now. We've also written a carefully crafted ACR review, which you may want to go through before opening up an account.

Americas Cardroom is a member of a poker network, so it's acting in cooperation with several partner organizations rather than managing a solo act. These sites on the WPN have joined forces to put together the best poker platform that they can, and the results have been superior to what any one of them could have realized on its own. Some of the other top-rated rooms on the network are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), PokerHost (read review). You can request rakeback from any of these firms; to learn how, study our instructional page on securing a WPN rakeback offer.

 

Grand Network

Image of the Grand Poker Network's Positive Features

Online gambling behemoth 5Dimes has developed a truly Grand poker undertaking. Starting from scratch, it designed and programmed a completely new poker software package in 2014. Using your Windows PC, Mac, iOS device, Android system, or really any hardware that's sophisticated enough to contain a current web browser, you can log in and play cards with no problems. Despite the newness of this operation, you can deposit your real money with confidence because 5D has been around for more than 20 years.

The player traffic volume here is a tad light, and so it might not be enough to serve as your primary poker destination online. Nevertheless, it's more than adequate as a secondary or backup poker room. Some of the players here are truly awful because they mostly bet on sports and casino games at 5Dimes and are just giving the poker side of things a try as a diversion. There are ring games from $0.05/$0.10 to $1/$2, mostly in NLHE but with sporadic PLO action at times too.

Tournaments are capped at $5 + $.50, so the enormous prize pools that you might find at competitors are absent here. MTTs at 5D are still a great deal though because there are a few of them every day that don't charge any house fees. You'll therefore see an immediate boost to your return on investment of 10%, which is nothing to sneeze at when you realize that this benefit will act over the lifetime of your account and increase your profitability without your having to take any manual action. Another automatic perk at 5Dimes is 50% rakeback, the highest percentage of any of our featured rooms. A $500 freeroll on Sundays rounds out the rewards package at this upstanding poker enterprise.

5Dimes' CTA Highlights Banner Link

Join the games at 5Dimes by following our banner link above. You might want to take a glance at our Grand Poker Network review too to gain a better understanding of its merits.


 

How to Choose the Right Arizona Poker Site

When attempting to determine which poker site is right for you, you'll have to think hard about the formats of poker you most enjoy, the types of promos that appeal to you, the size of your bankroll, and other similar factors. Each of the rooms showcased above scores differently along these metrics, and so we can't say definitively that any of them is head-and-shoulders above any other. We can give you examples of some of the elements to ponder as you mull over your decision.

⚫ If you're looking forward to a humongous welcome bonus, then the Chico Network has $2,500 for you to capture.


⚫ If you're most interested in the size of a room, the Ignition and Winning Network are the two with the most well-populated lobbies.


⚫ If you're looking for an all-in-one gambling shop, then Chico, Horizon, and Grand have poker, casino, sports, and more.


⚫ If you wish to play on an OS other than Windows, then Chico, Ignition, and Grand support Macs, tablets, and smartphones.


⚫ If you're in the market for a stellar rakeback special, then Horizon promotes 36% and Grand will grant you 50%.


⚫ If you feel you deserve long-term rewards, then Winning's Elite Benefits and Horizon's Loyalty Levels are just what you seek.


⚫ If you want to sample unique takes on what poker can be, then Ignition's Zone Poker and WPN's SNG 2.0 and Jackpot Poker are for you.

 

Payout Report

Brown Bag With Dollar Sign

At the end of the day, payouts are what it's all about because no amount of winnings is enough if you can't easily access them. Fortunately, all of the sites we've highlighted are committed to sending you your profits via check, and some of them are willing to transact via other methods as well, like bank wires and money transfer services. Overall, we feel that the best payment processor to use is the Bitcoin network. This decentralized virtual currency eliminates much of the delay involved in waiting to get a check in your hands. If you're not exactly sure how Bitcoin works, then we've prepared a page that you can read about setting yourself up to use crypto-currency.

 

Arizona Online Poker Law

Law Book

When trying to gauge the legality or illegality of online poker in Arizona, we must turn to the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13, Criminal Code, because this is where all the legal language explaining what's considered a crime is contained. The part that tackles gambling is Chapter 33, Gambling. Looking at the definitions listed in 13-3301, we see:

4. “Gambling” or “gamble” means one act of risking or giving something of value for the opportunity to obtain a benefit from a game or contest of chance or skill or a future contingent event but does not include bona fide business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts including contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, contracts of indemnity or guarantee and life, health or accident insurance.

Because this definition includes “game or contest of chance or skill,” the whole argument about whether or not poker depends more on luck or skill is irrelevant. It's either one or the other, or some combination of the two, and both categories of games are considered gambling as long as there's “something of value” at stake. Poker is almost assuredly considered gambling under AZ law.

Looking at the specific crimes that are on the books regarding gambling and that might be applied to poker is challenging. There's no one offense called simply gambling. Perhaps “betting and wagering” would include the game. The text explaining this crime is in 13-3305 and is as follows:

A. Subject to the exceptions contained in section 5-112, no person may engage for a fee, property, salary or reward in the business of accepting, recording or registering any bet, purported bet, wager or purported wager or engage for a fee, property, salary or reward in the business of selling wagering pools or purported wagering pools with respect to the result or purported result of any race, sporting event, contest or other game of skill or chance or any other unknown or contingent future event or occurrence whatsoever.
B. A person shall not directly or indirectly knowingly accept for a fee, property, salary or reward anything of value from another to be transmitted or delivered for wagering or betting on the results of a race, sporting event, contest or other game of skill or chance or any other unknown or contingent future event or occurrence whatsoever conducted within or without this state or anything of value as reimbursement for the prior making of such a wager or bet on behalf of another person.

Reading this passage, it's clear that it's only relevant to those either accepting bets as a business or transmitting wagers for others as a business. Another statute that could be applicable is 13-3304:

Benefiting from gambling; classification
A. Except for amusement or regulated gambling, a person commits benefiting from gambling if he knowingly obtains any benefit from gambling.
B. Benefiting from social gambling as a player is not unlawful under this section.
C. Benefiting from gambling is a class 1 misdemeanor.

The key part is A. It's difficult to know for sure what “knowingly obtains any benefit” means. In the definitions section of Title 13 as a whole, 13-105, we learn:

3. “Benefit” means anything of value or advantage, present or prospective.

It's not clear if the winnings a player receives during a game count as a benefit. Part B of 13-3304 indicates that someone who benefits as a player from social gambling is not guilty of benefiting from gambling, but this implies, while not stating it outright, that it's possible to benefit as a player in non-social games.

We searched across the internet to find out if we could uncover any cases of people being charged for benefitting from gambling. We did in fact turn up several instances. In every one of them, it was employees of illicit gambling establishments who were charged, which tends to support the view that this clause was designed to go after those who received additional advantages from gambling beyond just personal winnings as a regular player. No individual has ever been charged with a crime for playing online poker on his or her computer in Arizona. Indeed, no one within the state's borders has faced charges as a player in any gambling game even offline.

Other offenses that gambling operators may be committing in the state are promotion of gambling, possession of a gambling device and possession of gambling records. Most of these crimes are misdemeanors, but a few are felonies. These provisions haven't been sufficient to deter many, if any, offshore gaming sites from accepting Arizonans as customers. All the U.S.-facing poker companies gladly serve the state.

We've mentioned in passing that social gaming is allowed by the state. The full stipulations as to what a social game is are spelled out in the definitions section of Chapter 33:

7. "Social gambling" means gambling that is not conducted as a business and that involves players who compete on equal terms with each other in a gamble if all of the following apply:
(a) No player receives, or becomes entitled to receive, any benefit, directly or indirectly, other than the player's winnings from the gamble.
(b) No other person receives or becomes entitled to receive any benefit, directly or indirectly, from the gambling activity, including benefits of proprietorship, management or unequal advantage or odds in a series of gambles.
(c) Until June 1, 2003, none of the players is below the age of majority. Beginning on June 1, 2003, none of the players is under twenty-one years of age.
(d) Players "compete on equal terms with each other in a gamble" when no player enjoys an advantage over any other player in the gamble under the conditions or rules of the game or contest.

Home games are OK as long as all players are 21 or older, no rake or profit is involved, and the game is fairly run. Other types of games are excluded from falling under the terms of Chapter 33, including regulated raffles and bingo for nonprofits, tribal gaming, the state lottery, and pari-mutuel race wagering.

 

 

History of Gambling in Arizona

Old Compass

Throughout Arizona's time within the Spanish Empire and Mexico, it was a thinly populated desert expanse without much going on. This situation continued after the area was transferred to the United States following the Mexican-American War in 1848. It did see some economic activity in the late 1840s catering to prospectors headed to California to participate in the gold rush occurring in this latter state, but it was only in the late 1850s and early 1860s that Arizona's own mineral wealth began to be exploited in any meaningful way. There was some gold found, but the major deposits were of silver and copper. With the electrification of the United States in the late 19th century, demand for copper rose with the need for wires to transmit this form of power.

Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone, AZ, 1891

New towns grew up to serve the demands of the miners, one of which was Tombstone, founded in 1877. The Oriental Saloon opened the following year, boasting an upscale environment, including carpeting and live piano music, where gamers could enjoy faro, poker, and craps. It so outclassed all other gambling venues in town that competitors got angry and hired local toughs to intimidate the customers into leaving. However, the proprietor of the saloon countered by bringing in the celebrated Wyatt Earp, Luke Short, Bartholemew William Barclay “Bat” Masterson, and John Henry “Doc” Holliday, so this attempt at intimidation failed. It was Earp and Holliday who would eventually take part in one of the most famous incidents in Tombstone history just a year later: the Showdown at the O.K. Corral.

President Taft Signing Arizona Statehood Bill
President Taft Signing the AZ Statehood Bill, 1912

The good times were short-lived in Tombstone and the rest of Arizona because the territory decided to clean up its act in preparation for statehood. In 1907 the legislature prohibited gambling, and Arizona entered the Union as the 48th state in 1912. In 1915, the state even banned alcohol before most of the rest of the country did. Unlike in many parts of the country, the underground speakeasy and gambling scene in the Copper State was pretty small, and it wasn't host to large criminal gangs. Perhaps the closeness of Mexico and the legal liquor on offer there gave Arizonans a way to slake their thirst with a quick jaunt across the border, depressing the demand for homegrown booze.

In 1949, pari-mutuel wagering was legally instituted with the establishment of the Arizona Racing Commission. Betting on horse and greyhound races commenced although only horse race betting is currently offered because greyhound racing was banned by the state in 2016. In 1980, the Arizona Lottery was created. Several tribes opened up native gaming casinos in the late '80s, but there was plenty of legal wrangling before the state started signing compacts with them in 1992. The existing tribal casinos, which were operating with uncertain legal status, were now able to conduct their games without fear.

 

Online Poker Regulation Possibilities

Blue Regulations Image

Arizona seems an unlikely stage for the enactment of a legalized online poker economy because there have been no efforts to regulate the game at the state level. The authorities have an unfavorable view of gambling in general, and the prevalent tribal casinos that now dot the state map were vigorously opposed when they first opened. Even at the federal level, Arizona lawmakers have been against internet poker, like Jon Kyl, a senator who co-sponsored the anti-online gambling UIGEA in 2006. We must also consider that the native groups within Arizona, who now manage offline gaming enterprises, will have a large say in any attempts to introduce new types of legal internet wagering to the state. There's currently “poison pill” language in the tribal compacts saying that no new forms of gambling can be permitted without breaking the compacts and thereby severely cutting down on the revenue the tribes share with the state. Given the current cultural and political obstacles present in AZ, we expect it to be one of the last states to authorize legalized internet poker.

 

Land Based Gambling

Within the Grand Canyon State, you'll find a state lottery, charitable bingo and raffles, and pari-mutuel horse race wagering. Betting on greyhound races was formerly widespread, but this type of competition was outlawed in 2016. There are no commercial casinos, but there are about 30 tribal casinos run by 16 different tribes. Five other sovereign Indian states have the right to open up casinos in Arizona, but they haven't yet exercised this option.

Logo of Talking Stick Casino

There are about a dozen cardrooms in these casinos, and most of them are pretty modestly sized. A limit of $500 is enforced on the size of any one poker bet, and so the state doesn't offer true No Limit Texas Hold'em poker. Nevertheless, small-stakes, spread-limit games play almost identically to NL because the $500 maximum comfortably allows players to get all or most of their stacks in the middle whenever they want. The largest room for poker is at the Talking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale. 47 tables provide Hold'em, Stud, and Omaha cash games in fixed limit and spread limit formats. Two low-stakes tournaments are held every day during the week, and there are special tourneys on weekends with varying details. Most of these tournaments feature an NL betting structure because the cap on the size of wagers doesn't apply to tourney chips.

Regulated online poker would throw the system for a bit of a loop as there's a lack of traditional casino powers currently operating in the state. As we mentioned though, this state is likely further away from internet poker licensing than most others, so there isn’t a need to speculate too much on what would happen until some positive movement is seen in the government first.

 

Parting Summary

Playing online poker in Arizona is a hobby that you can participate in legally and without any worry. The Arizona online poker sites that we endorse are all reputable, well-run organizations that won't subject your money to any unnecessary risks. Just choose the one that you find most attractive, and begin playing cards over the internet right away!

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

Arizona and Adjacent States

If you happen to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business location, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available. Here are a list of the states that border Arizona and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. If you have a residence in some other state, then it might be worthwhile to browse through our guide to online poker for U.S. citizens.

Many Arizonans have no clue when it comes to the solutions available for internet-based poker. Feel free to share this page with them to spread knowledge about the fine sites for online poker in Arizona.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of aspects to Arizona online poker, and so it's perfectly understandable if you have a few questions about it. Check out the FAQ below for answers to some of the most common queries about this topic.

Is Global Poker a legal poker site in Arizona?

Global Poker claims that it can do business legally in Arizona because of the way sweepstakes law works. We aren't exactly convinced by this line of reasoning. There isn't space to go into the whys and wherefores here, but you can check out our review of Global Poker for further information.

 

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!