‘We Were Blindsided By This’: Arizona Budget Cuts Could Force End To Live Racing In State

by | 08.07.2017 | 12:45pm
Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix, Ariz.

Recent funding cuts by the Arizona Legislature could bring the end of live horse racing in the state by early next year.

AZCentral.com reports that the Arizona Department of Gaming is already feeling the effects of legislative budget cuts, and has been forced to layoff some employees. The Division of Racing treasury is expected to be depleted by March.

Kristian Fasching, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Gaming, told AZCentral that if that should happen, both Turf Paradise and Rillito would likely be shut down.

“We were blindsided by this,” Fasching said.

Under Arizona law, the Division of Racing is in place to monitor horses, jockeys and wagering to “ensure the sport's integrity and safety.” Should the Div. of Racing run out of funds and close, racing would also come to a halt, since there wouldn't be any agency oversight. The agency is not supported by taxpayers, nor is it covered by Arizona's general fund; instead, it gets its financing from a percentage of betting proceeds.

According to AZCentral, in 2016, the Division of Racing's budget totaled $2.9 million. This year, due to the cuts, the agency's current available funds have dropped to about $1.5 million. The agency is projected to be out of money by March.

“This is essentially a 50 percent reduction to the racing budget,” division Director Rudy Casillas told State Racing Commission members during a recent meeting.

“We have a structural deficit. There is no way, from my estimation, that we can get through the rest of the fiscal year.”

Read more at AZCentral.com

  • Bryan Langlois

    These situations are going to be happening more and more in various states as legislatures look to plug budget holes. Tracks and commissions really need to be proactive to start looking for things to do now to increase their revenues to be able to better weather the impending storm.

    • Minneola

      Fully agree and, while this may dishearten a few people who have become too dependent on taxpayers having to foot the bill, the day of reckoning may be at hand. Much as the USADA oversees drugs in sports, perhaps, it is time for another independent agency to form for the purpose of overseeing wagering. The day where other sports will also be able to have wagering is not that far in the future.

    • Concerned Observer

      Too bad the racing “industry” has not seen fit to develop a new form of betting to compete with lotteries and slots. Track owners were so greedily eyeing casino licenses, that they missed the big opportunity to go directly to the $1 gambler in convenience stores.. Now the state lottery commissions will fight it to the death. Just another example of racing’s lack of vision.

      But, racing only stands to lose Phoenix (fastest growth, 8th larges overall), a fast growing city in a fast growing state. But why would racing need Phoenix (or Boston) when it has Erie and Bossier City ?

      • Deb Curtis Olivas

        A few years ago someone tried to combine racing and scratch tickets , I don’t remember how it was suppose to work , he never got it off the ground .

      • Tanner

        Phoenix is actually the 5th largest city in the US. I don’t point that out for argumentative purposes but rather to highlight what you are saying because I do agree with you.

        • Tom Davis

          Phoenix is the largest capital city in the U.S.( 6th overall). I’m surprised more people don’t attend the races there. There’s money, retirees and good weather. Being a big name race track down here, I’m also surprised more people don’t attend the races at Gulfstream Park, even in the winter. There’s also money, retirees, and good weather. But they have a good handle from all sources handling.

          • Anglokraut

            I live in the valley, and there is never enough water, the highways are big looping rings that take hours to get anywhere, and there is simply no escaping the fact that Arizona’s state government likes to pass itself as being very poor–despite politicians themselves being quite wealthy.
            There’s a reason I’m only still here because I’m RTIP. With no Rillito, our off-campus lab basically becomes low-hanging fruit for the we-need-more-soccer-fields crowd.

      • Bryan Langlois

        I’m still surprised racing has not really tried to latch onto the Daily Fantasy Sports realm. It would be easy for them to do it with Jockeys since most will ride at least 5 to 6 races a day. You could very easily link it well and since that is all data driven, I am sure people would love to look over the stats of how jocks do in certain situations.

        • gus stewart

          they have one in vegas, im indirectly involved with its called fantasy sports at casinos like MGM. problem they have is no one knows how to use it and if you don’t teach people why its a bettor way to gamble they just continue to bet the old way. Good analogy, call a cab or learn how to use uber or lfyt for half the price..

      • jimmy ski

        The problem with Turf Paradise is the god awful product they put on.I wont play that track on a Monday if it was the only track running.

  • gus stewart

    Since technology provides the ability to communcate across the country with conference communication, why does thouroubred racing not use it. Even here on pr report does anyone working in the management of racetracks, comment or particapate on this site to maybe seek solutions or suggestions. Its just amazing how far racing has fallen behind other sports, i was watching team frisbee on espn the other day, then bowling. Really, its embarrassing that these events are covered more then racing. Its been a while since i attended a sale, but i really want to ask an owner, or potential owner, how do u allow your investment to be run by people that are not looking out for your future return on investment. Is this how you made your money to buy horse’s, i think not

    • Bryan Langlois

      We are trying to provide a little bit of that through our group Thorofan. I think the biggest problem is the tracks only want to listen to the big time bettors, not the small time folks who really could boost their bottom line and bring back the excitement of the track. I have said before for media to cover racing like a sport and not just a betting exercise and you might attract more people to it. The parallels to other sports are there, with agents for jockeys and trainers being looked at like managers of baseball teams. No one seems to want to do that though.

      • gus stewart

        you are correct on all things you stated, besides one I believe. listening to to big time bettors is not that important. True story, Santa Anita last cash tournament, my group in tournament one 55 and one in early twenties,, who is known for the youngest to win the showvivor years ago. went to mr Ritvo in tournament room and said “hey I think our group could potentially give you some ideas with a sports marketing background youth at track and I run a business 25 years”. So Mr ritvo handed him a flyer for the Pegasus tournament, so there you go. Racing has a platform like any other sport, and yes you are correct, that would enable you marketing the sport as any other mainstream sport. There currently is no will, to look at a 3 to 5 year plan to rebrand it, so they just keep sucking the money and life out of the older owners and old race fans until the biz is gone.

      • Michael Shea

        The saddest thing about the decline of horse racing has been the system’s inability or refusal to recognize the fan. These forums show a wide variety of opinions and the difficulty of appealing to everyone, but the simple act of listening would be greatly appreciated.

        • NELL.RAY

          To that I say what fans are you talking about. American thoroughbred racing has no fans. They only watch the Kentucky Derby and once that’s over they turn off their TVs unless there’s a triple crown on the line at the Belmont. The grandstands are empty the betting pools are down the only viable product is in New York aside from that everything is failing across the board. it’s too much racing at too many tracks with no oversight no central body. no governing body. Consolidation and decrease should be the main goal of American Racing.

          • Michael Shea

            I am one of many horse racing fans who follow all year long. My comment regarding the fans involvement is relevant no matter the number.

          • missedgehead

            I am also one of many racing fans. Been one since 1977.

          • NELL.RAY

            Racing needs more than just you. Grandstands are empty

          • Elliot

            It may be that grandstands aren’t full but there are a whole lot of race fans betting on line now (who no longer have to sit in the grandstands to watch and wager on the races). People who want to point to “empty” grandstands as proof that nobody follows racing anymore are ignoring relevant facts – the grandstands would have a lot more people in them if they weren’t betting on line somewhere else, at an OTB or at another racetrack via simulcast. With regards to your earlier post that betting pools are down that too is more of your flawed data. Pools have increased over the past 2 years. Definitely racing has some major problems but at least don’t put up flawed and incorrect data – putting up flawed and incorrect data is proof of nothing other than ignorance or a propensity to lie.

          • NELL.RAY

            And how is that going? Let’s take a look CA, AZ, IL, TEX are all failing

          • Elliot

            How is what going? The facts are the facts – it is a fact that there are a whole lot more fans of racing watching and wagering on a regular basis than those who sit in the grandstands as you have indicated. Whether or not they are “failing” is up to interpretation. TX for example stands on its own without subsidies or handouts and the TX tracks are still in business so to most people that is not failure – they are surviving. Could it be better in TX absolutely but to say it’s failing there when in reality they are businesses standing on their own is again ignorant. Your supposition that racing has no (or very, very few) fans left because of how many people there are or aren’t in the grandstands remains a silly one at best. Why have wagering dollars on racing as a whole increased year over year for the past 2 years if racing has no fans? Clearly there are a whole lot more fans than those sitting in the grandstands at a racetrack during the live races. Facts are facts (and for you facts apparently are problematic).

          • NELL.RAY

            I’ll tell you what you keep going on as if nothing’s wrong and when the house burns down I’ll come over pat you on the back and listen to you reminisce about old times

          • Elliot

            Again you ignore facts. My first post to you clearly said there are major problems. Your mastery of the ability to ignore facts temains untarnished.

          • NELL.RAY

            You make all the snarky comments you want. When racing grinds to a halt in America you will all be crying. I’m from England. we have been doing horse racing quite well for close to 400 years in both the jumps and flat codes we have a strong base and Solid oversight. But you Americans you think you know it all. How sad. Enjoy keenland this fall. Its going to cost you a little bit more.

          • Elliot

            The purse structure in England pales in comparison to the purse structure in America so no thanks to that. In England racehorse ownership is much more for the wealthy. In America there are lots of racehorses owned by “middle class” people. My comments aren’t snarky – they are fact based and yes I do tend to be disappointed in people who ignore facts and misstate the truth. You said you are “from” England, which would imply you no longer live there. This would lead to a supposition that you might now live in America. If it is correct that you no longer live in England and Americans and America are all so offensive to you why don’t you return to England? If your use of the word “from” was incorrect and you do actually still reside in England then I stand corrected with regards to my supposition.

          • NELL.RAY

            Me live in America? NEVER. poor infrastructure, high crime rate,bad government and bad racing. that just about eliminates every incentive I would have to live in America.
            You talking about the purse structure in England has no relevance to the fact that we put on a good show our product is top-notch. we invented thoroughbred horse racing.

          • Elliot

            For a place you think so poorly of that you would never live in and that in your opinion has such a bad racing product you sure seem to think about it a lot. Purse structure does have a lot of relevance and because the American purse structure is much, much better than that in England America remains a place where even the middle class can be involved in racing. Yes for the most part racing in England remains a “game” for kings and the wealthy and if that is “better” I will pass on that kind of “better”. Whether or not it is even correct that England “invented” horse racing really is irrelevant to a discussion about present day matters. Golf for example was invented in England but in the present day American golf drives the world discussion in that business, too. Like it or not racing is a business and much more than just a “show” in America.

          • Michael Shea

            The longest journey begins with a single step. Negativity produces nothing but more negativity. I’ve explained before that I believe we can achieve anything we desire. It might not be easy but horse racing could become a major sport again. It will simply require bold thinkers and a new direction.

          • NELL.RAY

            Not being negative I’m being a realist. You can’t deny what the facts have already indicated. you can’t tell the numbers to be positive when they show negatives

        • Lisa Johnson

          Michael Shea, I could not agree with you more. I’ve been a long-time proponent for women at the track and all that women can do to help the sport but it seems to still pretty much be an “old guys” game. There are simply too many wagering and watching choices anymore for any sport, and even though people tend to eschew the glamour and fashion aspect, women are FAR more than just that. We are gatherers, we are organizers, we are willing and able to be part of this industry.

          • Michael Shea

            I welcome anyone who enjoys horse racing to get involved. Lisa, I don’t know yet how to do it, but we have to find a way to get some new thinking into the sport. The days of sitting back and expecting things to get better are long passed. The article that greeted me this morning when I opened the Paulick Report was “Opinion: Illinois Racing on the Brink of Destruction”. I have followed the sport of horse racing my entire life at Arlington Park and watched the most beautiful track in the country through it’s steady decline. And it has been heartbreaking. I want to see Arlington and the rest return to thriving and I don’t know how to do it.

      • 5times5

        Somewhat agree.

      • Tango F

        The whole attitude in society is the top down approach and not the OBVIOUS fact that the bottom is where the support comes from!

    • Hugh Jainus

      Gus, you never cease to amaze me. You write lots of words but I can never piece together any real meaning. It’s like a word salad, with comprehension on the side.

      Seriously, what does “conference communication” have to do with budget cuts in Arizona? Maybe Team Frisbee is more your style.

      • gus stewart

        A quick response enjoy your comment until they delete it again, and fyi, its about the state of the industry as a whole. If this was about a football or baseball or hockey teams, that create bigger state revenues, it would be taken care of. Enjoy your time, id say about an hour should do it.

        • Hugh Jainus

          None of your responses are quick. I challenge anyone here to read your first post, then your response to me, and explain WHAT IN THE WORLD YOU ARE TRYING TO CONVEY.

          Maybe you should try Japanese or korean racing sites.

          • gus stewart

            No myself and a few others are the chosen ones and get to hear from you when you come from beneath your rock. You have so much to offer, you should go into politics and or be a lobbyist, heck i know a few, and if it would get u off the pr report, many would send recommendation letters. Now there you would be amongst freinds, wouldnt that be a happy place for u.. be well im out !!!

          • Hugh Jainus

            Gus, you are never “out.” Please don’t tease me.

      • horsepower

        i thought his point was on point and clear …no forwarding thinking and know thought to adapting to new younger players

  • Charles Smith

    I know this is a racing forum and not a political website, but I’ll just call a spade a spade….the AZ fair circuit crashed and burned a decade ago after skinflint budget cuts implemented by a far righr Republican Gov and Legislature, now in the year 2017, the very existence of TuP and Rillito is hanging in the balance because of the tight fiisted, short sighted fiscal policy of yet another Republican controlled statehouse. 2 years back, we saw native american gaming interests in Idaho team with their Republican friends to kill instant racing and shut down horse racing in Boise, where business had never been better. Today, native gaming interests stand to gain in AZ if, as predicted, these budget cuts would result in the shutdown of Arizona racing in Phoenix and Tucson. If I sound like a bitter horseman to you, you’re right. My stock fits in AZ, and the idea of indian gaming interests and their cohorts in AZ government putting me and a bunch of other horsemen out of business sucks.

    • Tres Abagados Stupidos

      If AZ racing shuts down don’t make any plans to move your stables to Texas. They are going through a similar funding issue for the racing commission and will more than likely be done there as well in the next year or so.

    • grovelandhorses

      What the tracks need (not political like you) is more slave labor illegals.

      • Charles Smith

        In my opinon, what the AZ tracks need is just a hint of support from state government. If an industry that not only employs many but also provides entertainment and enjoyment for many more could get by with 2.9 million in reglatory support funds from a multi billion dollar state budget, it makes you wonder about the motivation for witholding the needed funds. About a decade ago, the AZ fairs shut down when the state declined to continue a $140,000 yearly payment that covered administrative costs and purse supplements that allowed the fairs to operate. Now, they are choking out Turf Paradise and Rillito. Crazy.

        • Peter Scarnati

          At what point do those who participate in the racing industry come to realization that their industry should not continue to operate if it can not support itself? Or should taxpayers (or slot machines) continue to prop up an industry which apparently can’t survive on its own accord?
          Above, you describe it as “crazy” that a $140,000 “yearly payment” made by the state was discontinued. My question is this: Since we all know the “state” in your example is nothing more than taxpayer money, why should taxpayers be expected to fund “administrative costs” and “purse supplements” to “allow fairs to operate?”
          In my opinion, expecting taxpayers to fund a fair racing circuit is what is truly “crazy.”
          I would submit to you it was not the state which shut down the fairs as you apparently believe, but rather it was the industry itself as it seems it was unable to fund itself with a mere $140,000. That is solely where the fault lies.

          • Charles Smith

            Mr. Scarnati, I respect you right to your opinion. It’s just that I’m surprised to see a UA RTIP alum
            making comments that seem to reflect casual indifference to the plight of horsepeople who wish to carry on in the sport they love. As I believe you know, the AZ fairs effectively went out of business after the state legislature decided to strike the $140,000 that served to fund admistration of the fair racing program and also provided modest purse supplements to keep racing viable in places like Yuma, Flagstaff, Douglas, Globe, etc. At the end of the day, any action taken that harms horse racing interests in Arizona greatly benifits indian gaming there, and that’s the way the Native American casino operators and their Republican friends like it. They would rather play with a loaded deck than have fair competition for the wagering dollar.

          • Peter Scarnati

            I understand your position on this Charles. But unfortunately, the simple questions which I raised you chose to not answer.
            If “horse people wish to carry on in the sport they love,” I would suggest they find ways in which to make their own industry financially viable, as almost every other industry needs to do to survive.
            Or they can race in a locale where the racing industry supports itself, or has massive casino subsidies to finance purses.

          • Charles Smith

            All right, sir, I’ll pose this question to you. If racing can not survive without the benifits of alternative gaming, should the industry be allowed to fail?

          • Peter Scarnati

            In my opinion any industry which can not survive without taxpayer subsidy should not be in business.

          • Charles Smith

            General Motors would have been out of business by now if the administration in power in 2008 had shared your opinion.

          • Peter Scarnati

            GM provides a product which consumers spend hundreds of billions on annually (including purchases, maintenance, OEM purchases and service). A far cry from the fair circuit in AZ.
            Not that this makes the subsidy of GM the right thing to do. It wasn’t. How was that fair to Ford, which made it quite well on its own?
            That’s the thing with the government picking winners and losers. Not so great when you are on the side which government has deemed a loser….

          • Meg Hiers

            Alas, you may be a pure capitalist/libertarian, but such cannot exist in the practical world. There is a reason the big boys paid in to bail out the big hedge fund that went belly up out of hubris and stupidity a few years back. The ripples affect us all eventually.

          • Charles Smith

            Your response actually has a touch of Ayn Rand to it. After years of bashing the social welfare system in the USA, when Rand and her husband hit retirement age they both applied for Medicare and Social Security benefits.

          • Peter Scarnati

            Medicare and Social Security are paid into by taxpayers. Not a handout.

          • Charles Smith

            Ayn Rand referenced people who took Social Security and Medicare as leaches, then she and her husband did the leach thing when they needed to.

          • Peter Scarnati

            How can someone be a “leech” when they are receiving Social Security and Medicare when they paid into both of them?

          • Charles Smith

            “Contributions should be called taxes, benefits should be called handouts, social security shouldn’t be described as social insurance, but welfare.” Source, Ayn Rand Institute website, 2014.

          • Charles Smith

            Should the Agriculture industry in our nation go out of business? Where would family farmers and corporate farmers alike be without crop subsidies?

          • Peter Scarnati

            Likely living their lives exactly as they do now. Except they wouldn’t be dependent upon government, which by the way, is NEVER a good thing.

          • Charles Smith

            You’re a laissez-faire purist, as is your right, but PLEASE don’t imply that Agriculture would be the same without 26 BILLION in subsidy money…..those conservative Senators and Congress members from Ag states would lose their minds if Trump or any other President tried to change that system.

          • Johnny

            They would NOT go out of business if the agricultural industry no longer received their “welfare” payments. Farmers are actually a very affluent group. The median income for farmers is well above the median income for the rest of America. Without the subsidies farmers income would be more in line with the rest of America. The Ag industry has an extremely strong lobby and likes to lead America to believe without subsidies they would go out of business and that food prices would go way up. The fact is if farmers no longer received subsidies food costs would go down because production would go up in order for farmers to replace the revenue lost from subsidies. Further the silly ethanol mandates are a very large form of a subsidy for the agricultural industry and if ethanol quit going into our vehicle gas corn prices would go WAY down which would lead to much cheaper food costs. I do tend to agree strongly with Peter on this subject.

          • Charles Smith

            US Department of Agriculture stats for 2016 indicate total crop subsidies of 26 BILLION dollars….even the Trump administration has not made noise about reducing crop subs. If you eat, you are involved with agriculture.

          • Charles Smith

            OMG, I was wrong….the Trump admin HAS proposed reducing crop subs. My mistake….Mr. Scarnati, they might be looking for free marketeers like you in Washington, DC.

          • Peter Scarnati

            The debt is over $20 trillion. Sounds to me that reducing farming handouts would be a good place to start on the road to having some semblance of fiscal responsibility. You know, don’t spend more than you make. Nothing too complicated.

          • Charles Smith

            You are right, the debt is too high…..tell that to President Trump, he wants to increase the debt even more.

          • Peter Scarnati

            I’m sure the farming industry would be just fine if they weren’t subsidized to the teeth. I’m pretty sure they could make a go of it without being paid NOT to plant, or driving around in tax free pickups, ATV’s and tractors.

          • J. Nasium

            I guess that puts ALL farmers out of business. They get govt subsidies NOT to grow…

          • Johnny

            Peter many industries held up as “viable” are actually not wholly financially viable on their own. Look at the handouts and tax breaks given to big banks, big oil, insurance companies, the agricultural industry, etc. For you to try and talk as if racing is the only thing that might get a subsidy from the government to be viable at the level they are is plain and simple ignorant of reality. I am fine with no industries getting subsidies, tax breaks, etc., as long as NONE of them get it but the amount of “subsidization” given to the racing industry pales in comparison to that being given to very large industries and businesses.

          • Deb Curtis Olivas

            The Horsemen are funding the regulatory , it is not taxpayer funded .

          • Peter Scarnati

            I understand that. However, Mr. Smith has been making his point on the $140,000 the state was using to actually fund the state fair racing circuit.
            The regulatory funding, from what I read in the attached article is from both the purse account and the track. Also, from the attached article, it seems the HBPA backed the legislation which reduced their share of this regulatory funding.

    • Tango F

      This is part of the larger problem of Repugs ( and some Dems ) cowtowing to the demands of their corporate masters to not pay ANYTHING into the local coffers in order to keep their low wage jobs around. The corporations basically hold the local governments hostage and threaten to go elsewhere if they don’t get favorable tax status. The result? Crumbling infrastructure and less municipal services and less money for locals. Unfortunately, our government is for the people with the most cash to spend on lobbyists and casinos have lots of cash. Who is for publicly funded elections????

      • wmk3400

        Count me in. I’ve been screaming this for several decades but until Americans wake up and smell the coffee nothing will change and it goes way, way deeper than gaming interests. When a politician casts a vote that you agree with it is in all probability because an entity gave a “donation” to their campaign and their best interests happens to be the same as yours.

        Allow me to add that the Citizens United ruling is the absolute worst Supreme Court decision of my lifetime and will be the gift that keeps on giving. It personified corporations, legalized bribery therefore corruption and allowed it to be done secretly and by the way I don’t give a s**t what party you vote for or what you believe in, unless you’re a player you’re skrewed.

    • caesar

      You are correct Charles Smith. Most of the east has seen the light, but in VA we no longer have horse racing for many of the same reasons. Years ago they tried to get an OTB in northern VA, which would have been a goldmine and helped the industry enormously; but the local religious/conservative moral guardians managed to kill it. It wasn’t many years until it all was gone.

    • Barry

      If you want to get into politics look at whats going on in Democrat dominated Illinois.

      • Michael Shea

        Exactly. No corporation is holding anyone hostage here. Horse racing in general and Arlington Park, in particular has been held hostage by Illinois politicians. I don’t know who or what is behind it, but the decline of Arlington Park has been aided by some politicians with very personal reasons. When a major racetrack is not given the same consideration as a local restaurant when applying for slot machines, there’s something very dirty going on.

      • Rachel

        Or Democrat stronghold Massachusetts, & we lost Rockingham Park in New Hampshire under 10 years of Democrat leadership.
        It’s not Dems or Republicans, it’s the perception of racing.

    • 520Tux

      It’s a disgrace what happened to the fair circuit and now the politicians who are awash with Indian gaming money are trying to pay back their donors by eradicating racing in the state. Face it, Arizona state government is just as rotten and corrupt as the Federal government. Business interests have greased both parties to the point where neither major party represents the interests of a majority of society. Maybe that’s why half the people in this country don’t bother to vote. I’m not exactly ready to cry a river for TuP though as it was those idiots who lobbied to have online wagering shut down in the state. How’d that one work out? That was just a stunningly moronic move that ended horse racing wagering as a hobby for many in the state.

      • Charles Smith

        I agree with your points. I’m against anyone, Democrat, Republican or Independant who loads the deck in favor of one form of wagering over another. As you state, TuP management is not without fault here. Their stands on ADW harmed the industry overall.

  • David Worley

    Here’s an interesting quote from the AZcentral article:

    “Racing Commission records indicate the legislation was encouraged by Lloyd Yother, then-president of the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents about 1,500 horse owners and trainers. Yother, now the organization’s vice president, did not respond to interview requests.”

    So let me get this straight, the then president of AZ HBPA asked his state legislator to cut the funding for the racing commission? This makes zero sense? It can’t be the whole story.

    • Peter Scarnati

      From what I can gather from the story, the HBPA wanted their share of the funding to be reduced. I could be wrong about that, but that it was I gleaned from the story. You know, more money for “horsemen helping horsemen” and all of that.

  • Nytex

    Maybe I’m not comprehending. If …”The agency is not supported by taxpayers, nor is it covered by Arizona’s general fund; instead, it gets its financing from a percentage of betting proceeds”. Who and what is being cut? To me, this makes no sense.

  • john

    Arizona should be a great racing state with the good weather and all the retirees. Ridiculous.

    • 5times5

      Isn’t that the truth?

    • paul adams

      If they had their eye on the ball and got purses up they could take horse racing out of CA . But AZ is even more screwed up than CA and that says a lot.

  • Concerned Observer

    Horse racing is the “Sears” of the entertainment industry. By golly it worked in 1975, so we are jus’ gonna’ keep doin’ what made us successful! …..or die tryin’

    • Tango F

      You win the internets award today!

  • robnokes

    Racing is taxed (VAT) on gross dollars bet, and Casinos are taxed on net profits (Income less deductions). Racing will never compete against such unfair odds.

  • Peter Scarnati

    This story makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
    Do the fine folks at the Arizona Department of Gaming have zero concept of how to budget for their expenses based upon what their revenues are likely to be? It really seems odd that the moaning over their funding would come just three months prior to the END of the fiscal year. Where was the whining nine months ago?

  • Don Healy

    Really need to watch and regulate these damn politicians…lotta jobs will be lost horse owners trainers won’t be able to find stalls lotta people hurt by this!!!

  • John Murray

    Congrats. Wow this is a first.
    An intelligent discussion about the future of Arizona horse racing.

    This is similar to the situation facing Western Canada, Hastings, Northlands/Century Downs, Marquis Downs and probably Assiniboia, in Winnipeg.

    Inability or unwillingness to adequately promote, attract new customers, fewer horses, modest purses, a vicious cycle.
    Cheers

  • Lynette Lucas

    I reached out to one of my old hs teachers that is now legislator & he had no clue this was part of the budget!!!! We need to reach out to the legislators & voice our concerns so that the tracks are not lost!!!! My old hs teacher thanked me for bringing this to his attention!!!

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