Michigan sports bettors now have another option to play the ponies via their mobile devices, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued an order allowing Xpress Bet to begin operation in the state.
Residents will be able to place bets on both live and simulcast pari-mutuel horse races.
“Michigan horse racing fans now have a third option for betting on horse races from anywhere in the state using mobile wagering,” Richard Kalm, the executive director of the MGCB, said in a press release. “It’s a win for horse racing fans who want more choices in convenient mobile wagering providers, and the horse racing industry hopes to tap additional funding through this betting format.”
Xpress Bet is a subsidiary of the Aurora, Ontario-based 1/ST, and got its temporary license from the MGCB after the firm signed a third-party facilitator agreement with Northville Downs, which is Michigan’s only licensed racetrack.
Two others in the space
Previous to Xpress Bet getting the nod, TVG Network and TwinSpires/Churchill Downs had signed deals with the track. Both of those companies received their temporary licenses in 2020.
In an effort to goose the industry and allow Michigan residents to more easily place bets on horse racing, the state’s Horse Racing Law of 1995 was amended to allow a “race meeting licensee to use contracted third-party firms to facilitate wagering on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing,” as the MGCB press release stated.
The MGCB approved mobile wagering on both pari-mutuel and simulcasts in June 2020.
Michigan slaps a 1% tax on bets processed through third-party facilitators.
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