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New off-track betting site could be coming to Tucson

Posted at 10:45 PM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 01:53:35-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Midtown Tavern on 1st and Prince could be the newest spot in town for off-track betting.

Turf Paradise, a race track in Phoenix, applied for the license in February. Now, they're waiting for the City Council's vote.

But the council won't vote on it until they learn the outcome of House Bill 2547.

It would equalize off-track betting opportunities for tracks across the state, including Rillito Race Track in Tucson, which isn't allowed to have parlors right now.

City Council wants Rillito to have an even playing field with Turf Paradise. And Turf Paradise says they also want to see Rillito have more opportunities.

"Right now we're actually working with them on a different proposal, that would include them and generate a different revenue stream for them, as well," David Johnson, the Vice President of Turf Paradise said.

Tucson City Council continued Midtown Tavern's application to be discussed during the meeting on June 18.

Governor Doug Ducey has until June 8 to sign or veto House Bill 2547.

Johnson says if Midtown Tavern was given off-track betting rights, it'd bring in tax revenue from increased business at the bar, and a couple of jobs, from the people who will be hired to operate the betting.

There are currently six locations in the Tucson area for off-track betting.