Currently, there are 24 Class III gaming facilities in Arizona, operated by 16 different tribes. Those Class III casinos may offer “Las Vegas style” gaming activities (e.g., gaming devices, blackjack, keno, jackpot poker, and house-banked poker) and are co-regulated by the Tribal Gaming Authority of the tribe that owns the casino and ADG.
There are two Class II facilities in Arizona that are regulated solely by the tribe that operates the facility with oversight from Federal authorities under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Class I: Social games played solely for prizes of minimal value, or traditional forms of Indian gaming engaged in by individuals as a part of, or in connection with, tribal ceremonies or celebrations. Class I gaming on tribal lands is exclusively regulated by tribal ordinances. Off of tribal lands, Arizona state law governs gaming between individuals
Class II: Limited to bingo or gambling devices that are based on the game of bingo and regulated by the tribe with oversight provided by the federal government through the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Class III: Full “Las Vegas style” casino gaming such as gaming devices, blackjack, keno, jackpot poker, and house-banked poker and co-regulated by both the Tribal Gaming Authority of the tribe that owns the casino, and ADG. Class III requires the tribe operating the casino to enter into a valid Tribal-State Gaming Compact (Compact) with the State before it may operate the casino. Class III casinos may not offer casino games that are not authorized by State law or specifically allowed in the Compact.
A Class II facility is regulated by the tribe that owns it, with oversight by the National Indian Gaming Commission. ADG has no jurisdiction over Class II gaming facilities.
All Class III casinos are regulated by both the Tribal Gaming Authority of the tribe that owns the casino and by ADG in accordance with the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact (Compact). The Compact specifies detailed procedures for casino operations. All Class III casinos are required to complete an extensive checklist, and must receive certification from ADG before opening for business. These casinos are subject to both random inspections and annual compliance and financial audits by ADG to ensure compliance with the Compact.
All gaming activity involves risk and the outcome of any one play, or series of plays, is completely random. Payout percentages are over the expected life of a gaming device.
Class II: Payout percentages* are set solely by the tribe and any changes to them are approved by tribal regulators.
Class III: Per the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact, minimum payout percentages for Class III gaming are set at 80 to 83 percent. This means that a machine must return 80 to 83 percent of wagers over the expected life of the machine. If at any time a Class III casino wishes to alter the payout percentage, it must receive approval from the respective Tribal Gaming Authority (TGA), and notify ADG of the change. The machines that have been changed must stay out of play until inspected by both ADG and the TGA to make sure it still is meeting all requirements.
*Payout percentages are over the expected life of a gaming device.
Class II: Contact the facility operator and the appropriate Tribal Gaming Authority to address any patron complaints, disputes or legal claims. You can also direct your to the National Indian Gaming Commission’s Phoenix Regional Office at (602) 640-2951. ADG has no regulatory role with respect to Class II facilities.
Class III: Initiate the process with the appropriate Tribal Gaming Authority. Section 14 of the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact outlines the process for resolving patron disputes. If a patron is unable to resolve his dispute with the casino over wins and losses, the patron has the right to contact the TGO to resolve the issue. The Compact gives sole authority to the TGOs to resolve patron disputes over wins and losses.
If you have a dispute with a casino and wish to file a complaint, the first step is to call the TGO. The TGO is required to investigate all disputes involving at least $500. At the request of a patron, the TGO has the discretion to investigate any dispute involving less than $500. Once the TGO has been notified of a complaint, it has 30 days to investigate and render a decision on the matter. It is important that you contact the Tribal Gaming Office as soon as possible after the event in question. The earlier you file your complaint, the more effective the TGO can be in retrieving documents and surveillance records, gathering information, and conducting interviews to investigate your complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the results of the TGO investigation and decision, the Compact gives you the right to file a petition with the TGO requesting a review of the decision. The TGO may set a hearing on the matter or make its decision based solely upon its prior investigation. If your dispute involves an amount over $500, you also have the right to file a complaint in Tribal Court.
If a patron has an injury or property damage claim alleged to have occurred in a Class III casino, it may be handled by the Tribal Gaming Authority and the tribe’s risk management agent. Under Section 13 of the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact, the tribe is required to have written procedures for tort claims which will be provided to a patron upon request. Any decision can be appealed to Tribal Court for a further review (Note: Arizona state courts do not have jurisdiction over incidents on tribal land). The Compact requires each tribe engaged in operating a Class III casino to maintain a minimum of $2 million in insurance for injury or property damage claims.
During the expected lifetime of a gaming device the Tribal-State Gaming Compact requires that each game shall theoretically pay out a minimum of 80 percent for games requiring no skill, such as slot machines; 83 percent for games requiring some skill, such as video poker; and 75 percent for keno video games. The highest single advertised award on each gaming device shall occur statistically at least once in every 50,000,000 plays.
A gaming device is a mechanical device, electromechanical device, or a device controlled by an electronic microprocessor or another manner, whether that device constitutes Class II or Class III gaming, that allows a player or players to play games of chance and/or skill, and whether the device accepts coins, tokens, bills, coupons, ticket vouchers, electronic in-house accounting system credits, or other similar forms of consideration and, through the application of chance, allows a player to become entitled to a prize, which may be collected through the dispensing of coins, tokens, bills, coupons, ticket vouchers, electronic in-house accounting system credits or other similar forms of value.
Gaming devices contain a random number generator(s) that constantly produces numbers, even while the machine is not in use. Pulling the handle or pushing the “Spin” button only begins the visual display, which is purely for show. This action displays the reel positions that coordinate with the set of random numbers that were generated when the player pushed “Spin” or pulled the handle.
When playing a gaming device, it is important to remember that every play is random; one pull is completely independent of the previous or succeeding pull. Everything comes down to precisely when the player pushes “Spin” or pulls the handle. A completely different result can be yielded just by playing 1/100 of a second later.
If you have a complaint about the teller, mutuel pay-outs, customer service at one of Arizona’s race tracks, and any other complaint regarding the race track or the facility, the teller has complaint forms to fill out. With mutuel pay-out disputes, do not throw away any tickets that are related to the dispute.
If you are dissatisfied with a race track response, you may submit your complaint to the ADG’s Division of Racing via e-mail to [email protected] or call (602) 364-1709.
ADG’s goal is to respond to all complaints as soon as possible. Some complaints may require additional time for investigation and research due to their complexity. If you do not hear from us within 30 days, please call (602) 364-1709.
Some complaints have filing or response times designated by rule. According to Arizona Administrative Code R19-2-121(D), R19-2-309(D) and R19-2-516:
A person with a grievance or complaint against a track official, an employee of the permittee, or a licensee shall submit it in writing to the ADG Racing Division Stewards within five (5) days of the alleged objectionable act or behavior.
A person with a grievance or complaint against an official or employee of the ADG shall report it in writing to ADG within five (5) days of the alleged objectionable act or behavior.
One of three ways:
Appeal: Within three (3) days of a ruling by the Board of Stewards, you may appeal that ruling to the Director. The appeal must be in writing, contain the grounds for appeal, and be signed by you or your attorney.
Referral: The Board of Stewards may refer matters ruled on, including license denials, to the Director. The Director has the authority to affirm, reverse or modify the Stewards’ rulings and to conduct hearings as deemed appropriate.
Sua Sponte: The Director, after preliminarily reviewing rulings by the Board of Stewards, may decide to hear a matter heard by the Stewards, even if not appealed or referred. The Director has the authority to affirm, reverse or modify the Stewards’ rulings and to conduct hearings as deemed appropriate.
Hearings are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act A.R.S. § 41-1061 and the Arizona Administrative Code R19-2-123 and R19-2-322. View the statute and rules.
Director’s hearings are conducted at the ADG, 1110 West Washington, Suite 450, Phoenix, Arizona, 85007. The hearings begin promptly at the time stated in the Notice of Hearing. Individuals with matters on the hearing agenda will receive notice by certified mail at least 30 days prior to the hearing date.
If you have a good reason for delay, you may request, in writing, that a hearing be rescheduled. Please provide a telephone number and email address where you can be reached, you will be contacted and an alternative hearing date will be arranged, if your request is approved by the Director.
You are not required to be represented by an attorney; however, you may retain one if you desire.
You may submit any pertinent documentation as evidence and you will be afforded the opportunity to present your own witnesses and cross-examine any witnesses presented by the State.
You, or any witness you may need, may request to appear by telephone. Please make this request at least 5 business days prior to the hearing date so that arrangements can be made, if approved by the Director.
The Director will provide a written decision within 30 days of the date of the hearing. The decision will be sent to you via certified mail or, if an email address is provided, via email.
An order issued by the Director may be appealed. You may request a re-hearing/review by the Director. If the re-hearing/review is not granted, or if the Director upholds the previous decision, you may then request review by the Commission.
Alternatively, you may request a review by the Commission. If the Commission does not grant the review, or if the Commission upholds the Director’s decision, you may appeal to Superior Court for review of the facts of the case. You may appeal the Director’s Order by requesting a re-hearing/review of the decision by the Director; or requesting a review by the Commission; then requesting a review by the Superior Court.
Neither ADG nor the Arizona Racing Commission charge a fee in an Administrative hearing review or appeal. However, court fees may be applicable for a review by the Superior Court.
An animal is considered Arizona bred if foaled or whelped in Arizona. Breeders’ awards will be paid to the owner or lessee of the female of the animal, at the time the animal was foaled or whelped.
Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses – ADG contracts with the Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the Arizona Quarter Horse Racing Association to certify Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses as Arizona bred, respectively. Please contact these organizations for information about their requirements.
Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association (602) 942-1310
Arizona Quarter Horse Racing Association (602) 625-0468
First Quarter: Paid by October 31st or the last business day in October
Second Quarter: Paid by January 31st or the last business day in January
Third Quarter: Paid by April 30th or the last business day in April
Fourth Quarter: Paid by July 31st or the last business day in July
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that the State report your breeder awards income for tax purposes. The vendor identification form (W-9) must be filed with the State before a payment can be processed.
Awards must be paid to the registered breeder and payments must match the vendor identification form (W-9) that was filed and reported to the IRS.
Post times vary from track to track; therefore, we suggest that you visit the website of the race track for updated information. For your convenience, we have added direct links to their websites from the Racing Division’s website.
Horses may be entered to race at any commercial or county fair race track if the registration papers are on file with a racing office of a permittee currently conducting live racing in Arizona. However, in instances where a race overfills, some Racing Secretaries give preference to entries whose papers are on file at the track where the entry is made.
For your convenience, you can make secure payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week using the ADG Payment Portal for the Racing Division: Pay Online
Alternatively, the Racing Division accepts business checks, money orders, Visa/MC, or cash for licensing fees at licensing offices at the race tracks. Please make checks payable to ADG. If payment is from a foreign bank, then the payment must be made in United States funds. You can mail your payments to Arizona Department of Gaming Racing Division, 1110 W. Washington St., Suite 450, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Most racing licenses are good for two years from the date your application was processed. Your expiration date will be listed on the license received from ADG’s Racing Division. Licenses for Track Owners, Racing Officials, Tote and Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies, Tote and ADW Employees, County Fair Managers and some other key categories expire after one year. Please check the Licensing Fee Chart found at Forms, Licensing & Fees.
The fingerprint fee for your license pays for the cost of the background investigation, including the fee charged by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to process your fingerprints. The fee you paid when you had your fingerprints taken is the fee charged by that entity for taking the fingerprints.
Arizona law requires fingerprints to be submitted with each application. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires a new, original fingerprint card to be submitted to process your fingerprints. Fingerprints are processed to receive current, up-to-date information since the last time ADG’s Racing Division submitted your fingerprints.
No. According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office,ADG may not participate in fingerprint reciprocity with other racing jurisdictions. According to Arizona statute, fingerprints can only be submitted to the Arizona Department of Public Safety for criminal background information and processing through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Arizona, reciprocity is an authorization that is granted by the Legislature, and ADG does not have this authorization.
A temporary license for owners only is permitted for when they have horses running in special races such as handicaps or stake races. This license will expire 30 days from issuance. The original owner’s license application and other requirements must be received by the end of the 30-day period. No purse money will be paid until the owner is properly licensed.
Anyone who uses any name but their own on the animal registration papers must get a Stable license. All of the owners in a stable who own 10 percent or more must be licensed as owners in addition to the stable name license.
Yes. Arizona is a member of the National Racing Compact. However, standard ADG Racing Division fees apply. Visit National Racing Compact for more information.
Persons younger than 16 years of age are limited to applying for licensing as an OWNER. To do so, he/she also must have a parent/legal guardian sign the owner license application and assume full financial responsibility by obtaining an AUTHORIZED AGENT license.
Any person younger than 18 years of age is NOT eligible for the following licenses: OFFICIAL, TRAINER or ASSISTANT TRAINER. Anyone younger than 18 years of age must have the parent/legal guardian sign a Parent Signature card and both parties must present GOVERNMENTAL ID’S.
Arizona law requires that all employers doing business in Arizona carry workers’ compensation insurance. The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) routinely checks employers at Arizona race tracks for workers’ compensation compliance. Visit ICA for more information.
*The OTB map, directory and list are subject to change. Please contact the OTB location for hours of operation and signals carried.
Yes. The money wagered at off-track betting locations throughout Arizona is commingled into the same betting pools and treated just the same as if the bet was placed at a race.
No. All dollars wagered off-track are treated exactly as if the wager was placed at the track.
The establishment relies on increased customer traffic, which could mean increased revenues from more food and beverage consumption.
There is a limit to the number of channels that can be wired at these places. It’s best to call the off-track betting location for the list of tracks being carried on any specific day.
The track that sends the signal controls the off-track betting site.
Mutuel tellers are employees of the specific Arizona race track.
Those OTBs that carry both dog and horse race signals have separate contractual relationships with a horse racing and dog racing permittee in the state.
Since all wagers made in Arizona are commingled with the out-of-state track providing the signal, the out-of-state track makes the decisions as to disqualifications, official results and payoffs. If the race is run in Arizona, Arizona officials make those determinations.
In rare situations simulcast technology has failed and this has prevented the wagering information to be transmitted from Arizona to the out-of-state track in a timely manner. When this occurs, the non-Arizona track has the authority to reject Arizona wagers. The Arizona Administrative Code [R19-2-522(B)(6)] offers alternatives to the tracks in handling this situation. All of the Arizona tracks currently choose to refund all wagers when this happens.
You must be 21 to place a wager on a horse or greyhound race.
Currently, in Arizona, it is illegal to wager on horse or dog racing online.
A winning ticket may be cashed until one year after the last day of the racing meeting where it was purchased.
Contact the race track where you purchased the winning ticket and ask for a claim form. The pari-mutuel ticket is evidence of the contribution to the pari-mutuel pool and the race track’s obligation to pay the bearer.
Mail your winning ticket, return receipt requested, to the race track manager of the race track where the wager was placed along with a letter requesting payment.
Mail your winning ticket, return receipt requested, to the race track manager of the race track where the wager was placed along with a letter requesting payment.
Contact the Arizona race track that provided the forms at the time you cashed the winning wager(s).
ADG’s Racing Division may not provide advice regarding these matters. Therefore, please check with your tax advisor.
Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) is a form of gambling where one can set up an account and wager from their home or office. Arizona law allows for ADW wagering via telephone only. No internet gambling is allowed.
No, in Arizona, an Advanced Deposit Wagering company must be licensed and receive a permit to operate in Arizona from the Arizona Racing Commission.