Telephone wagering will end for Arizona residents starting Jan. 9

Telephone wagering will end for Arizona residents starting Jan. 9

January 03, 2018 11:30 AM
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Telephone wagering will end for Arizona residents starting Jan. 9, Turf Paradise in Phoenix has announced. Bettors were already forbidden from using the mobile apps or computers to wager in the state, which is allowed in most other large racing jurisdictions.

Track officials indicate that the cannibalization of its ontrack handle and at its in-state, off-track betting physical outlets is the reason for the upcoming prohibition.

Vincent Francia, the general manager of Turf Paradise, indicated that horse wagering through phone accounts in Arizona has averaged approximately $14 million a year over the past two years. However, that handle produced only about one-third of the revenue for the track and its horsemen compared with the revenue from wagering at the track and through its in-state network of bars and restaurants where wagers are accepted.

Francia said the track will now ask the Arizona Legislature for a more expansive law, but is concerned that the state’s vast network of tribal casinos, which have resisted efforts to expand gambling to the Internet to protect their massive investments in brick-and-mortar casino-resorts throughout the state, will oppose his efforts.