Wagering on dog racing was handed a major setback in Scottsdale as the City Council reversed course Tuesday and rejected a plan that would have allowed off-track bets on the greyhounds.
The 3-3 vote Tuesday means the city code will not be amended to allow off-track dog racing alongside the already legal off-track wagering on horse races.
This puts a halt to Upper Deck Sports Grill owner Tom Anderson's plans to file an application to allow dog racing at his downtown Scottsdale bar at 4224 N. Craftsman Court.
Anderson, who was shocked by the decision, is the only Scottsdale bar with horse-racing wagering.
At Anderson's request, the council voted 6-1 in July to instruct city staff to bring forth a city code amendment to include dog racing.
In the meantime, council members Betty Drake and Wayne Ecton had a change of heart and joined Mayor Mary Manross - who opposed it from the start - in opposition to betting on dogs. They said while supporting betting on horses, they did not support bets on dogs and did not see how it would benefit Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Councilman Bob Littlefield said Drake and Ecton switched sides to pay Anderson back for his opposition to the relocation of a Salt River Project substation to 68th Street and Indian School Road next to his Club Forbidden, which would allow for the Solis Scottsdale Resort.
Drake and Ecton, neither of whom have said whether they support Solis and the substation move, strongly denied Littlefield's assertion. That vote is set for Nov. 18.
Anderson said, "I'd hate to think that had anything to do with it."
Upper Deck has pari-mutuel wagering on horses running from Turf Paradise in Phoenix and tracks around the country. If betting on dogs was approved, bets would have been taken when races are run between 7 p.m. and midnight.
The downtown sports bar has offered horse bets since it was approved by the council in April 2007. Anderson had his one-year license renewed earlier this year.
Manross also voted against Anderson's first application for off-track horse racing, but did vote for the renewal.
On Tuesday, Manross said she has been consistently against gambling and her reason for voting for Anderson's horse-racing renewal was because it was on the consent agenda. However, the item was not on the consent agenda and required a separate vote.