Carlsbad may ban mini-satellite wagering

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad is considering banning betting on horse racing out of concerns over gambling’s potential conflicts with the city’s small town, family-oriented vision.

“Generally, the city prohibits most types of gambling due to the secondary, adverse affects,” explained city planner Kevin Pointer.

Last spring, the city established emergency ordinances that prohibited patrons of bars and restaurants outside of an actual racetrack to remotely place bets on horse races, referred to as mini-satellite wagering. The closest horse racetrack is located in Del Mar.

With the emergency ordinances set to expire at the end of this month, city staff are working on a proposed permanent ban of mini-satellite wagering.

Carlsbad’s municipal code currently outlaws card rooms and bingo that is not run by a nonprofit.

The emergency ordinances were issued after the city received an application to open a Silky Sullivan’s Race and Sports Bar that would provide mini-satellite wagering.

Though the California Horse Racing Board permits mini-satellite wagering facilities, Carlsbad city planners and law enforcement expressed concerns that a gambling facility could result in adverse effects, including enhancing the likelihood of robberies and assaults and attracting gamblers from outside cities.

“Mini-satellite wagering may also be in conflict with the proposed General Plan Vision and Goals,” according to city staff’s report that recommended rejecting Silky Sullivan’s Race and Sports Bar’s application on April 30, 2013. “Those goals promote a community which emphasizes a small town feel, family oriented activities, access to recreation and active healthy lifestyles, history, the arts and cultural resources.”

City Council accepted a report about the city’s previous emergency ordinances banning mini-satellite wagering sites at its Tuesday meeting.

The proposed permanent ban is scheduled to be brought before City Council at its April 22 meeting.


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