08/27/2001 11:00PM

Turf Paradise owner sues state

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Jerry Simms, majority owner of Turf Paradise in Phoenix, has sued the state Department of Gaming and Gov. Jane Hull, claiming that the state cannot prohibit him from doing business with Indian casinos, according to a report in The Arizona Republic.

The Department of Gaming had made the ruling in March, citing his alleged ties to organized crime figures and a prior bribery investigation in California. Simms's lawsuit says that because of a ruling that invalidated the Gaming Department's power to regulate casinos, it had no standing to deny him the ability to make simulcasting contracts with Indian casinos.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Department of Racing denied Simms a temporary racing license, putting his stake in Turf Paradise in jeopardy.