It appears Phoenix’s Turf Paradise Racing is the first horse racing facility in the state to receive a limited Arizona sports betting license.
The operator, which was previously denied an Arizona betting apps license from the Arizona Department of Gaming, will be able to offer on-site sports betting at its Phoenix track, as well as at eight off-track betting facilities, according to Turf Paradise General Manager Vincent Francia.
Turf Paradise was joined in applying for a limited sports betting operator’s license by Tucson’s Rillito Downs, which told BetArizona.com on Tuesday that its facility had not heard anything from the ADG on its license application.
Why Horse Racing Facilities Want Limited Licenses
The main draw for racetracks in applying for one of the 10 available limited operator licenses is the opportunity to be a part of the sports betting landscape in Arizona. Although unable to offer mobile sports betting, limited licensees can open retail sportbooks.
Francia told BetArizona.com in November the racing operator wanted to “get its feet wet” with sports betting.
Facilities were required to submit a $1,000 application fee, in addition to a $1,000 initial license fee and a $5,000 annual renewal fee, when they submitted their limited event wagering operator license materials. The ADG could give out a maximum of 10 limited licenses.
For Turf Paradise, Tuesday’s decision by the ADG gives the track some relieve after it was denied a full license — which prompted Turf Paradise to file a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court in August that was eventually dismissed.
A spokesperson for the ADG said the department would notify the selected limited license applicants by the end of the week, but wouldn’t make a public announcement.
The spokesperson added the department’s limited licenses apply only to the racetrack facility itself, with all off-track betting facilities receiving their own licenses to conduct retail event wagering.
The department’s website lists Jan. 24 as the date limited event wagering operators would be notified about whether their applications were accepted or denied.
Where Turf Paradise Goes From Here
As of now, Turf Paradise Racing is the only known racetrack operator to receive a limited license from the ADG.
The Phoenix facility will partner with a sports betting operator to provide on-site wagering, Francia told BetArizona.com on Tuesday.
Francia declined to specify whether Turf Paradise Racing had already entered into an agreement with any operators or when they would launch sports betting operations.
The Phoenix racetrack’s stakes schedule runs from now through May 7, with races on Thursday and Friday of this week, in addition to Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, March 4, March 11, March 24-25, April 5-6, April 13, April 15, April 22, April 27 and May 7.
Francia declined to say when Turf Paradise Racing’s sports betting operation would launch.