05/06/2014 11:19AM

Arizona bill allows account wagering


Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has signed a bill that allows telephone betting on horse and dog racing in Arizona, opening the state up to account wagering seven years after Arizona’s legislature cracked down on the practice.

The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature several weeks ago, but not before stripping out language that would have allowed residents to place bets over the Internet. Nevertheless, the bill brings Arizona into the modern age of horse racing, where account wagering has been the only growing source of betting on races for the past decade.

In 2007, with the support of the state’s tracks – which were upset over account-wagering companies taking bets from state residents without paying fees to the tracks – Arizona’s legislature passed a law specifically outlawing account wagering. The bill signed by Brewer on Monday mandates the fees.

Brewer also used her line-item veto power to strike a provision of the bill that would have sent $1.2 million of the state’s budget to the Arizona Breeders’ Award Fund and the County Fair Fund. In a letter explaining her position, Brewer said the appropriation was struck due to budgetary concerns “during a time when we are instead marshaling resources to fund child-safety reform.”