Arizona's Advanced Deposit Wagering

The new law should increase purses, but comes up short for breeders.

Q-Racing Journal

An Arizona advance deposit wagering bill will help purses.

Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer signed state advance-deposit wagering legislation into law May 5. The ADW legislation, known as SB 1282, permits betting on horse and Greyhound races by phone and takes effect after 90 days, on August 3. The law is intended to make tracks such as Turf Paradise and Rillito Park more competitive with tracks in the 37 other states that already had ADW.

The ADW money will go to purses, but the details are still to be worked out in negotiations between Turf Paradise, HBPA and the Arizona Department of Racing. However, Arizona breeders will not receive as much as first was written in the bill.

“There was a line in the bill that set aside $1.2 million for Arizona-bred funding – for the breeders,” said Loretta Brasher, executive director of the Arizona Quarter Racing Association. “AQRA represents the Quarter Horse breeders and ATBA (Arizona Thoroughbred Association) is the Thoroughbred breeders. But that’s all gone. The governor line-vetoed that part of it, and signed the bill without that part in it. Gov. Brewer took the $1.2 million and put it into the general account budget for CPS. Now, we’ve had a real problem with child protective services in our state – it’s been blown wide-open how corrupt they were at CPS, how many calls were never answered, how the kids weren’t getting taken care of. It’s been a real black eye for the governor, so I guess she’s trying to rectify that before she leaves office next year. But anyway, she took our money.”

Be sure to read about Arizona's famed Sonoita meet in the June Q-Racing Journal!


SB 1282 was authored by state Sen. Steve Pierce, an owner and breeder of racehorses. The measure passed the Arizona House 51-5 and then the Senate 23-3, and was one of the final two bills to be passed prior to the state Legislature's adjournment of the session.

“A few years ago, when the state went broke, the governor went in and she swept the funds, so the breeders received no money for three years,” Brasher said. “So we lost beaucoups of breeders in the state. It used to be that if you were in an airplane flying over rural southern Arizona, instead of a swimming pool in everybody’s yard, you’d see a Quarter Horse mare with a baby. It might be a rope horse, it might be a racehorse. Who knows? That’s our history here and that’s what we’ve got to get back to.”

Despite the new law being far from perfect, Brasher noted that it is a step in the right direction.

“I’ve always said, if they give you a lemon, make lemonade.”

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.