“Formulating gaming policy is a quintessential legislative function; it is not embedded in the governor’s constitutionally conferred executive powers,” he told Brnovich.
Finchem acknowledged there is another statute that deals with the terms of the current “standard form” gaming compacts available to tribes. But that, he argued, still doesn’t give Ducey the power to make a new deal with the tribes.
“The governor is afforded only limited authority to negotiate on discrete and largely ancillary contract terms,” Finchem said. “Nothing in the statute empowers the governor to single-handedly forge the terms of a new compact that materially diverges from or expanded upon the terms specifically prescribed in (law).”
An aide to Brnovich said Finchem’s request is being reviewed. He could not say when an opinion will be issued.
“Historic horse racing” bets proposed
There’s another potential complication to Ducey’s gaming plan, tied to another Southern Arizona lawmaker.
Sen. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, is trying to get the Legislature to legalize what’s called “historic horse racing.”
It would allow people using machines to wager on races that were run in the past, but would provide bettors only with a number and no information on the name of the horse or the date of the race. They would be given some data on that horse’s historical record and handicap.