TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson city leaders tackled a controversial issue at the council meeting on Tuesday night, April 3, denying the application for Midtown Tavern to become an off-track betting site for horse and dog racing for the Tucson Greyhound Park. The vote was 7-0.
Tucson Greyhound Park wanted the mayor and council members to approve an off-track betting site at Midtown Tavern, located at 3620 N. First Avenue, near East Prince Road.
The application was denied in a 7-0 vote.
The OTB would have allowed people to go to the bar to watch and bet on dog races simulcast from other states such as Florida and Texas.
The park was forced to end live dog racing in 2016 after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill making it illegal in the state of Arizona.
People against the park's request say the practice of dog racing is cruel and the city of Tucson should cut ties with the industry.
"For us to now go back and approve a license that allows a bar, or Midtown Tavern in this case, to support live racing whether it's in Tucson or somewhere else would be both hypocritical and wrong and is abusive to the animals," council member Steve Kozachik said.
Tucson News Now reached out the park about the pushback, but the owners preferred not to comment. Although the park doesn't conduct dog races anymore, it wants people to know it's still open for business.