First Arizona Sports Betting Limited Operator License Granted to Turf Paradise

Turf Paradise Receives First Arizona Sports Betting Limited Operator License

Turf Paradise Racing in Phoenix, Arizona, has been awarded a limited sports betting license, making it the first horse racing facility in the state to do so.

Vincent Francia, General Manager of Turf Paradise, announced that despite previously being denied an Arizona betting apps license by the Arizona Department of Gaming, the operator will now be able to provide on-site sports betting at its Phoenix track as well as eight off-track betting facilities.

According to, Rillito Downs in Tucson has also submitted an application for a limited sports betting operator’s license to the ADG, following in the footsteps of Turf Paradise. However, as of Tuesday, Rillito Downs has not received any updates from the ADG regarding the status of their license application.

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Horse racing facilities prefer limited licenses.

Racetracks in Arizona are excited to vie for one of the 10 exclusive operator licenses, which will allow them to join the state’s sports betting market. Although restricted from offering mobile casino sports betting, limited license holders can still run retail sportsbooks.

In November, Francia notified that the racing operator was considering entering the realm of sports betting.

To obtain a limited event wagering operator license, facilities were required to submit a $1,000 application fee, as well as a $1,000 initial license fee and a $5,000 annual renewal fee. The ADG was able to grant a maximum of 10 limited licenses.

The ADG’s decision on Tuesday provided some much-needed relief for Turf Paradise after the track was originally denied a full license. Following this denial, Turf Paradise filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court in August, but it was ultimately dismissed.

According to a spokesperson from the ADG, the department will notify the selected limited license applicants by the end of the week without making a public announcement.

The spokesperson made it clear that the department’s restricted licenses are designated for the racetrack facility, whereas each off-track betting facility will receive its own license to provide retail event wagering.

Limited event wagering operators will receive notification regarding the status of their applications on Jan. 24, as stated on the department’s website.

What’s Next for Turf Paradise

Currently, Turf Paradise Racing is the only racetrack operator authorized with a limited license from the ADG.

On Tuesday, Francia notified that the Phoenix facility would be teaming up with a sports betting operator to provide on-site wagering.

Francia did not reveal if Turf Paradise Racing had finalized any deals with operators or offered a specific timeframe for the start of sports betting operations.

The Phoenix racetrack will host races on Thursday and Friday this week, as well as on Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, March 4, March 11, March 24-25, April 5-6, April 13, April 15, April 22, April 27, and May 7, concluding the stakes schedule on May 7.

Francia did not give a specific launch date for Turf Paradise Racing’s sports betting operation.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher, with over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona, has worked for, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He currently holds the position of lead writer at

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