Tucson locations prepare for possible sports betting

Tucson locations prepare for possible sports betting
Jeff's Pub hosts off-track betting (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey called the Supreme Court's decision to leave sports betting up to individual states "positive news" and some in southern Arizona would agree.

Samm Schantz, owner of Jeff's Pub, said the family-owned business will gladly offer any new gambling options that the state allows. The business, located on Camino Seco south of Broadway, is one of several in Tucson to offer off-track betting for dog and horse races.

Schantz said her place was the first to offer the service in southern Arizona starting back in the mid 90s.

"We love it," she said. "Our customers are great. It's been lucrative for us over the years."

Four times a week, Bob Wilson settles into the room at Jeff's dedicated to racing. He shows up early enough to enjoy breakfast there and then flips through his racing form for the day.

"I'm not a large better," he said. "I enjoy the company and it's well worth what I invest here."

Wilson said that investment occasionally brings a big return. Sometimes the returns are not so great, he said with a laugh.

He'd continue to frequent Jeff's Pub if state leaders authorized sports betting in various venues. Schantz said she has enough space in her bar/restaurant to accommodate whatever winds up legal.

She said her business would benefit and so would the public needs from potential tax money.

"We could use the tax money to help the roads that all know are horrible," she said. "Education, which we all know is an issue right now."

Alicia Heiserer, general manager of Tucson Greyhound, said the former home of live dog racing in southern Arizona is always interested in new opportunities. She said her team will wait to see what state leaders decide.

Arizona OTBs Master List_050218 by Tucson News Now on Scribd

A statement provided by the Arizona Department of Gaming on Monday reiterated that sports betting remains illegal in the state.

Any changes would not be immediate, according to the ADG statement.

Click here to see the full list of off-track betting locations in Tucson and the rest of the state.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.