04/25/2014 9:37AM

Arizona legislature passes account-wagering bill


A bill that would allow account wagering over the internet in Arizona passed with widespread support in the waning hours of the state legislature on Thursday morning, potentially opening up a state that had cracked down on the practice seven years ago.

Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has 10 days to sign the bill, which passed the House late Wednesday night by a vote of 51-5 and then the Senate by a vote of 23-3, according to legislative records. The legislature adjourned on Thursday morning shortly after the bill was passed.

In 2007, Arizona’s legislature passed a law specifically outlawing account wagering with the support of the state’s racetracks, which were upset that account-wagering companies were operating in the state without paying fees to the tracks and horsemen. The bill passed Thursday requires account-wagering companies to pay fees to live tracks.

Account wagering is legal in nearly every major horseracing jurisdiction, and it is the only source of betting that has been growing at a time when handle on horse races has stagnated.