Arizona Interjects In Televised Horse Racing Dispute

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 9:28am

With his signature, Gov. Doug Ducey placed the state in the middle of an off track betting legal battle between Monarch Content Management — the company that provides televised signals of horse races — and the tracks that both produce and receive those signals.

The new law requires Monarch, or any simulcast services, to offer the signal to all race tracks with live-racing permits.

Vince Francia with Turf Paradise said Monarch’s signal generates $4 million annually for the track. Those revenues, he warned, would be in jeopardy if Monarch follows through with its threat.

"If they're forced to give it to all or give it to none, they will withdraw the signal from the state," he said. "And Turf Paradise would not be able to suffer that type of a financial loss."

Managers at other race tracks, including the newly opened Arizona Downs in Prescott, said it is about fairness and ensuring equal access and treatment to anyone who wants to buy the signal.

The law takes effect August 27. In the meantime, Francia said Turf Paradise is preparing to possibly sue over the law’s constitutionality.

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