Some say that there is nothing as exhilarating or fun as watching your horse cross the finish line first. Unfortunately, there are moments when you cannot make it down to the track, or it is too far away. That is when off-track betting locations can be of help to you. Let’s take a closer look at horse racing and betting, followed by a partial list of OTB sites across the state.
When Did Horse Racing Start?
Horse racing can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Babylon, Greece, Rome, as well as Egypt. Racing with chariots (think of the movie Ben Hur) was popular in many of these civilizations. In the Greek Olympics, there is evidence that horses were raced with chariots and while mounted. For Europe, horse racing continued in various forms until modern times.
What Are the Types of Horse Races?
There are three major types of organized horse races. Flat racing is what most of us imagine when we think of horse racing, and is currently the most popular form of this sport throughout the world. The tracks have a level terrain and are most often shaped like an oval. The length a horse has to race varies, with a range of 440 yards up to 2 1/2 miles in total distance.
Endurance racing is popular in some regions, with horses racing long distances (10-100 miles or more). Due to the distances that are raced, these events usually run through natural terrain and not a track. Jump racing, where horses are timed while they are negotiated through a course, is also a type of horse racing that you may have seen.
What Is Thoroughbred Racing?
The name Thoroughbred refers to a breed of horse that is used in racing today. This breed was created in England beginning in the 1600s by crossbreeding mares with oriental imported horse breeds such as the Arabian. Thoroughbred racing is what most Americans think of when they envision the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, or the Preakness Stakes.
What Is the History of Gambling on Horse Races in the United States?
Most point to the creation of the course on Hempstead Plains as the beginning of horse racing as a bookmaking sport in the United States in 1665. Betting on horse races maintained its popularity until the beginning of the 1900s when the citizens began to hold an anti-gambling sentiment. This almost ended bookmaking and horse racing in the States.
The introduction of Parimutuel betting in 1908 halted the decline. Parimutuel betting is a system where the money is placed into a pool, from which taxes and the “house-take” is removed. The remaining money is then split by the winning bets that were made. Horse racing began to grow once again in popularity leading up to the Second World War.
Interest in thoroughbred racing began to stagnate again until horses started to win the Triple Crown in the 1940s. The Triple Crown is awarded to the thoroughbred if it can win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Four horses won the Triple Crown in the 1940s (Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, and Citation). After this, a three-year-old would not win the Triple Crown again until 1973.
What is the History of Off-Track Betting for Horse Racing in the United States?
Previous to 1970, the only state that allowed off-track betting was Nevada. That year, the state of New York legalized off-track betting (OTB), and by the end of the decade, there were 100 betting parlors in the State. It was during the last decade of the 20th century that OTB was established in Arizona, in part by Turf Paradise Race Course owner Robert Walker. It is currently known as Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
What Do You Do in Off-Track Betting?
For the most part, off-track betting is the same no matter where you are betting from. An individual will select a ticket and wager a price. Most wagers have a minimum amount that you can place for a bet. To place a bet you select a race you wish to wager on. From there, you indicate the track and the race number you are interested in. You then select an amount to wager and the program number of the horse you are betting on.
You can place a straight wager, with payouts for win, place, and show. There are also exotic wagers which can include the daily double, quinella, exacta, trifecta, and the superfecta. There are the pick wagers in which you pick winners in order of three, four, five, or more. Advanced wagering includes boxing horses in the quinella, exacta, trifecta, and the superfecta.
The race is then run with the winners paid out based on the odds placed on the horse to win and if the horse won, placed, or showed. An off-track betting site will broadcast the race on televisions live, so you can watch the race as it happens. Establishments like Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise show races from all over.
You have to be at least 21-years old in order to gamble on horse racing as well as online casinos, poker, or sports betting.
Some Off-Track Betting Locations
Bleachers Sports Grill
This establishment is found on the northwest corner of 40th street and Chandler Blvd. Food selections include burgers, pizzas, and wraps. A variety of entertainment is available including dartboards, golden tee, and sports broadcasts on 30 H.D. TVs. Off-track betting is available by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Apache Greyhound Park
Located south of Apache Trail on the west side of S Delaware Dr., they have been providing racing entertainment since the 1950s. They no longer offer on-site racing but do provide OTB from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise for races across the country. Food and drinks are available.
Wadell’s Longhorn Corral is located 1/2-mile north of McDowell Rd. on Jackrabbit Trail. A full bar is accompanied by a menu of Mexican favorites. Karaoke is supplemented with live country music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Off-track betting from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is offered daily.
This Bar & Grill is found south of Florence Boulevard on N Pottebaum Road. Locally owned, they hold claim as Arizona’s original OTB site. Enjoy drinks and food while you keep tabs on your bets through Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise on 36 Big Screen LCD TVs.
Gallagher’s Food & Fun
This is a chain establishment that is located near E Carefree Highway and Black Mountain Parkway. You can enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere that is supplemented with food and live music. Watch college and professional sports in addition to off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Nate’s Third Base is located on the southwest corner of Dobson and Ray Road. A standard sports bar atmosphere is complemented by the many micro-brews and burgers found on the menu. Multiple TVs showcase live sporting events while the OTB is offered through Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Porky’s Pub Sports Bar & Lounge can be found just west of I-40 on E Butler Avenue. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as 28 beers on tap. Enjoy professional sports on multiple screens, poker nights, and off-track betting from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Situated east of S Cotton Lane on Yuma Road, Roman’s Oasis has a classic bar atmosphere. Listen to a live Country or Rock band play while the burgers and beers flow. Dancing, electronic darts, poker, and OTB through Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise keeps this place lively.
Stinger’s Sports Bar
Located south of Peoria Avenue on North 43rd Avenue, Stinger’s offers a casual neighborhood bar experience. The full-bar is supplemented with American pub foods. Televised sports games and diamond pool tables dominate the entertainment, but off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is also available.
Times 3 Sports & Grille
Found near 65th Avenue and W Happy Valley Road, Times 3 offers a family-friendly atmosphere with happy hours and a full menu. Afternoon poker on Saturdays and daily off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise are supplemented with live sports broadcasts as well as trivia.
Cerbat Lanes is located off of Morrow Avenue and Stockton Hill Road. They host Kid’s birthdays, events, and bowling leagues. An arcade, banquet room, pro shop, and snack bar & grille offers something for everyone. The bar contains a booth for OTB from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Quality Inn & Suites
Situated off of Highway 95 and Smoketree Avenue, this establishment offers more than a place to stay. The grille offers a breakfast buffet and nightly dinner specials. The Sunset lounge supplies guests with live entertainment as well as off-track betting access from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
JJ Madisons All American Grill is located on the northeast corner of University and South Power Road. Their full menu includes 21 burgers. Entertainment includes large screen TVs broadcasting college and professional sports. Enjoy karaoke, pool, and OTB from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise while you’re at it.
Found off of 107th Avenue, this golf course includes the Albatross Bar & Restaurant. You can enjoy Breakfast or Appetizers at the base of the local Green Bay Packers fans. You can also purchase Lottery and Scratch tickets as well as off-track betting with Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Found on the southwest corner of W Gurley Street and Montezuma, Matt’s Longhorn Saloon provides a true honky-tonk atmosphere. A live music tradition includes legendary names like Buck Owens and Waylon Jennings. Check out the picture covered walls and the OTB from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Situated on East 2nd Street off of State Route 69, Antelope Lanes offers family and league bowling opportunities. There is also a live band and Texas Hold’em Tournament that is hosted once a month. Food, drink, and off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise are also available.
Safford Bowl is positioned off of East 4th Street and offers the small community an entertainment hub. The drinks and food are typical American burgers and pub style foods. There is an arcade, TVs, as well as OTB by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise available to enjoy.
RT’s Black Bull
RT’s is located on White Mountain Road and offers drinks along with American dishes and pub style foods. The dance floor is put to use when live bands play here. Pool tables and off-track betting through Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise can be enjoyed as well.
P C’s Lounge is found off of Highway 90 and offers a small bar atmosphere. There are plenty of TVs to watch sports on, and they have dart boards as well as a couple of pool tables. They also offer OTB services from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Union Hills Golf & Country Club
Positioned on the southeast corner of Union Hills Drive and 99th Avenue, the club offers Sunday brunch, lunches, and dinners at either the Del Grill or Lounge. Off-track betting from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is available seven days a week, beginning at 11 am.
Runner’s Sports Bar is located off of Bell Road near Bicentennial Park. This small local establishment offers a full-service bar and pool tables. There are TVs showcasing college and professional sports. You can also make use of their OTB services from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise as well.
Arlie’s Bar & Grill
This bar and grill is found just off of Price Freeway on E University Drive. Arlie’s hosts dart and pool tournaments, karaoke, and live bands weekly. Pub style food is also available. Other entertainment includes cornhole, shuffleboard, and OTB from Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise.
Boston’s Bar & Grill
Sitting on the northwest corner of Elliot Road and McClintock Drive, this neighborhood establishment offers a decent selection of food and drinks. Golden tee, karaoke, poker, televised sports, trivia machines, as well as off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise entertain patrons throughout the week.
This pub will be found on the southwest corner of E Broadway Boulevard and South Camino Seco. The typical American pub food on the menu is highlighted by the homemade chili. Typical bar games, televised sporting events, and OTB by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise entertain patrons daily.
Old Father Inn
Sitting just off of I-10 on West Ina Road, this bar and grill offer a relaxed atmosphere where patrons can enjoy drinks and American food prepared on the grill. Karaoke, live entertainment, as well as off-track betting by Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise are enjoyed by visitors daily.