Back in my misspent youth, my eyes lit up when I saw a sportsbook had opened at the Vina del Mar resort down in Rocky Point’s Old Port. It seemed like a little slice of heaven—a dark cavern filled with banks of TVs where my older brothers and the rest of our crew would hunker down to place bets in the morning and watch games in the afternoon, after we returned to the hotel after a day on the Las Conchas beach.
I learned something important about myself in those years: I’m not very good at gambling on sports. Sure, I won once in a while, but my parleys usually got busted by one game and even my teasers fell through. It was still a hell of a good time, but my interest in placing bets faded as my wallet got thinner.
I understand why so many people are excited now that sports betting is legal in Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey scored his biggest win at the Legislature with the deal that not only expanded table games and sports betting for the tribes, but also helped boost the fortunes of Ducey’s pals—the owners of big sports franchises here in Arizona. (It never hurts to be a friend of Ducey when it comes to leveraging the law or the tax code to make more money.) I never expected to see legal sports gambling at stadiums in Arizona, but this world is full of surprises even at my advanced age.
Tom Danehy takes a look at what’s happening in the sports betting world in this week’s cover story.
Elsewhere in the book this week: Staff reporter Alexandra Pere brings us the cautiously optimistic news that the Delta wave may have plateaued in Arizona; Dr. Larry DeLuca urges Congress to pass legislation lowering prescription drug costs; arts writer Margaret Regan has a roundup of three books by local authors you should check out; calendar editor Emily Dieckman explores the fun to be had this week around town; XOXO columnist Xavier Omar Otero rounds up the local and touring acts playing around town this week; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at the challenges that veterans face if they try to use cannabis as medicine; and we’ve got all the usual stuff spread throughout the book. Dig in and enjoy!
Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor
Hear Nintz talk about what’s fun to do in this burg at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings during the World Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.