Michigan Gaming Control Board To Allow Mobile Betting On Horse Racing

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The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Wednesday it will allow online and mobile wagering on horse racing via advance deposit wagering.

The executive order from MGCB Director Richard Kalm notes the Horse Racing Law of 1995 (Racing Act) was amended last year “to provide that any form of pari-mutuel wagering on the results of live or simulcast horse races must be conducted or operated by a race meeting licensee, which may use contracted licensed third-party facilitators to facilitate wagering on live and simulcast racing.”

Section 8(1)(d) of the Racing Act added licensing for third-party facilitators, which permits bettors in the Wolverine State to create an account with a third-party facilitator and use an online or mobile platform to place wagers via ADW.

“The order should enable the state’s horse racing industry to gain new followers through ADW and maintain protection for citizens who wish to place wagers on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing in Michigan using their mobile phones,” Kalm said in a statement. “Before ADW can go live in Michigan, the race meeting licensee and the certified horsemen’s organizations also must agree to a contract with a provider.”

Terms and license fees

Licensee applicants must provide a plan of operation as well as any system operation plan changes to the MGCB prior to approval. There is a $1,000 application fee and $500 license renewal fee payable to the MGCB that covers background information checks.

Also of note is the licensee “may not sell or share an applicant or account holder’s confidential information or use confidential information for any purpose not related to authorized account wagering without the applicant or account holder’s authorization.”

Northville Downs is the lone track in Michigan that offers both live racing and simulcasting, and it has already lost 14 of its 52 race dates this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, it committed to live racing through at least 2024 after reaching an agreement on a land-lease option with fellow stakeholders.

The track is currently closed through at least May 28 due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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