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‘Racino’ campaign – Betting on the come?

A large PR/advertising push to get the Legislature to permit slots and gambling tables at the state’s six horse and dog tracks (YS first to report) began Monday (July 20) at the Capitol, where Rep. Andy Tobin found a small plastic “budget jockey” on his windshield, with a tag reading “Everyone’s sacrificing except tribal casinos” and “The budget jockey is here to help.”

Proponents of what they’re calling “racinos,” the Arizona Racetrack Alliance, which is Turf Paradise and Phoenix Greyhound Park, have hired the horses at Rose & Allyn to spearhead their campaign. Tobin, who has a bill ready to go, told the Prescott Courier he thinks legislators are warming to the racino idea as an alternative to the governor’s drive to temporarily increase the sales tax. A racino proposal failed miserably in 2002 as a ballot measure. “The question is, do you hate a tax increase more than you hate expanding gaming at racetracks?” Tobin said. “You’ve got to pick.” The tracks are offering to state and local governments 45% of a consultant-estimated $833 million that could be grossed by the time permanent operations are set up in 2012.

To read more on this item plus all the stories in the July 23 Yellow Sheet Report, go to (Yellow Sheet Subscription Required).

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