12/10/2009 12:00AM

Arizona selects new racing chief


Lonny Powell, who ran Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix from 1994-1999, has been hired to head up the Arizona Department of Racing, Powell said on Thursday.

Powell, a graduate of the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program, will start in his new job on Jan. 4, he said. Arizona has two major Thoroughbred tracks, Turf Paradise and Prescott Downs, and several small fair meets.

Powell said that he plans to revisit the legality of telephone and Internet betting in the state. Arizona is one of several states to have cracked down recently on account wagering, claiming that the form of betting is illegal. In addition, Powell said that he plans to take a close look at ways that horse racing might expand its presence.

"It's time to step up and look at what racing can to do to address its revenue concerns," Powell said.