Horse Betting coming to PT’s

Get ready to place your bets.

PT’s Cocktails and Nightclub is bringing wagering on horse races to Winslow with the city’s blessing.

On Tuesday, City Council approved a one-year license for the club to operate pari-mutuel wagering. The council also adopted the process necessary to obtain the license.

The club is operating the gambling with Turf Paradise, a racetrack in Phoenix. The track operates horseracing nine months of the year. It would like to add dog racing in the other three.

PT’s co-owner Tom McCauley said the bar might add off-track betting on the dogs if the horse racing is successful.

McCauley and co-owner Putt Benham expect to increase their patronage during the day by adding off-track betting. The races run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“A lot of people have been asking to bring in horse racing,” McCauley said. “It gives adults something else to do in Winslow.”

However, not every council member was happy with the process.

Council members Dee Rodriquez and Judy Howell expressed a need for an ordinance before allowing the license.

“Our zoning laws contain where you can have a garage, where you can have a café, where you can have a school, where you can have a homeless shelter but nothing in there where you can have gambling,” Howell said.

“If I wanted it in my shop, there’s nothing in our zoning code that prevents it and that’s not right.”

City Attorney Dale Patton told the council that a city ordinance would be useless since the state regulates gambling.

Howell was not convinced and said she would still like to have the city regulate gambling much the same way the city can establish liquor laws even though the state regulates liquor too.

“I know that you can’t keep (gambling) out of your town because the state regulates it, but we should at least have a say as to where it’s going to be,” she said.

In order to offer off-track wagering in Winslow, the procedure that the council adopted requires the individual or group submit an application to the city Planning, Zoning and Building Department, which will post a public notice.

The department must inform residents by mail within a 300-foot radius of the establishment.

Applications go to the mayor, council members and appropriate city departments for approval.

After that, the council will make a decision at a public meeting.

In reviewing the application, the council will consider crime statistics at the proposed site, oral public input at the council meeting and recommendations made by the other city departments.

The PZB Department will review each license yearly.

The next step for the club’s owners is to be cleared by the State Racing Commission.

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